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Ceturtdiena 19.07.2018 | Name days: Jautrīte, Kamila, Digna
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Opinion: authorities should act and stop pretending gambling is restricted

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUTo limit access to gambling machines, it would be a good idea to permit their installation only in luxurious hotels, as stated in the proposals submitted to Riga City Council’s City Development Committee by New Conservative Party.

«To limit access to gambling machines and their degrading influence on residents, NCP has developed proposals that provide for a full removal of gambling halls from Riga’s centre and micro-districts. A specific restriction permits installation of gambling halls only in luxurious hotels,» as mentioned in the party’s statement.

Juris Jurašs, board member of the New Conservative Party, says: «We need to act radically and stop pretending that gambling is restricted. It is no more than a fairy tale told to us by authorities. Profits for the gambling industry grow with each passing year. The money people lose to gambling is absurd, and so is the number of ruined families and lives. Taxes paid by the industry and donations to the culture industry cannot possibly compensate enormous losses caused by gambling machines to Latvia’s society. Visible results were only noticed in the period before 2010, because Harmony came to power after that, marking a blooming period for the gambling industry.»

According to data from the Lotteries and Gambling Inspectorate, net income from gambling machines had, indeed, declined prior to 2010. The industry’s profits had increased as well. Net income from gambling machines declined from EUR 214 million in 2007 to EUR 100 million in 2010. In the past seven years, however, net turnover from gambling machines has only increased – to EUR 196 million in 2017, as reported by NCP.

The political party notes that the industry’s profits have grown from EUR 6 million in 2010 to EUR 64 million in 2017. Gambling industry has earned EUR 216,995 million in seven years.

«To limit accessibility to gambling, and considering that the largest portion of income is provided by gambling machines, we have developed proposals to limit gambling halls only to luxurious hotels. It is a national-scale problem. We want to start resolving it from Riga because more than half of all gambling halls are located there,» Jurašs adds.

In May 2018, a total of 8,496 gambling machines were present in 311 gambling halls in Latvia. 152 with 4,321 gambling machines were located in Riga, according to information from the Lotteries and Gambling Inspectorate.


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  1. andris says:

    good proposal.

    your per capita rate of machines is very high.

    false to believe these machines create a significant number of jobs.

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