Moreover, the head of the Latvian Internet Gambling Association noted that despite concerns, operators have seen a 26% decrease in the number of active players since March 14, when the state of emergency was declared. According to the spokesman, the income they can get will simply go to the side of unlicensed operators. The local online gambling market will die, and the state will lose millions in taxes.
The chief executive of Enlabs AB, which owns the Optibet brand, said this was a poorly thought-out decision. And it will lead to compensation claims of up to 160 million euros. He speaks of an unjustified violation of the rights of operators holding a Latvian license. And this seems especially unfair, given that the state does not touch lotteries, giving them a huge advantage.
Instead of banning online gambling, the government could consider imposing a limit on how much time players can play or how much money they can spend.