Latvian Constitutional Court lifted restrictions on online casinos
At its regular session, the Latvian Constitutional Court decided to cancel the restrictions that the authorities had previously adopted regarding interactive gambling during the coronavirus pandemic. The text of the document is available on the official website of the state body.
In the process of considering the case, the judges considered several complaints at once, including relevant appeals from operators Optibet, Alfor, Admiralu klubs, Latsson Licensing and Furors.
Companies were asked to challenge the eighth article of a separate law governing overcoming the consequences caused by the massive spread of coronavirus. According to the document, during emergency situations, including the COVID-19 pandemic, all gambling, except for interactive and instant lotteries, is completely prohibited.
In addition, the applicants were able to challenge the decision of the Gambling Supervision Inspectorate. Earlier, the agency completely suspended all licenses of gambling service operators in Latvia. Online gambling has also been banned. This seriously affected the entire local gambling market, which caused its representatives to appeal to the Constitutional Court.
As a result, the judges recognized the restrictions imposed on the operation of land-based casinos and slot machine halls during the pandemic as justified and legal. At the same time, the authority found similar bans on the activities of online casinos unreasonable and contrary to the Constitution of Latvia.
It is worth noting that in March of this year, the Latvian authorities vetoed the operation of gambling halls, and also included the gambling entertainment sector in the list of industries economies that need additional support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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