Latvian Parliament rejects amendments to the Law on Gambling and Lotteries

Latvian Parliament Decides to Reject Amendments to the Law on Gambling and Lotteries. The proposed amendments could be used to restrict gambling in the country.

The amendments were drafted by members of the New Conservative Party and KPV LV. Seimas deputy Juris Jurash called on other MPs to support this bill, noting that about 80,000 people in Latvia suffer from gambling addiction, and for 15,000 of them this problem is serious. He believes the proposed amendments will be a small step towards a healthier society.

35 deputies of the Seimas voted for the introduction of the bill to the Budget and Financial Commission, 15 – against, 27 – abstained.

Annotations mentioned that the purpose of the proposed amendments is to limit the number of gambling establishments in Latvia and the reduction of the negative impact of gambling on public health and people in general.

The bill explains that people participating in gambling and lotteries are subject to excessive risk of dependence. Gambling or pathological need to participate in gambling are characterized by frequent episodes of gambling, which are rapidly becoming the main subject of human interests, affecting his or its social, professional and family values, as well as negatively affecting his or her finance.

The bill also suggested that the casino is allowed only in four- or five-star Latvian hotels. Research has shown that localizing or limiting gambling halls and casinos is one way to limit and reduce problem gambling habits.

The deputies also proposed to prohibit persons evading the payment of alimony from engaging in gambling. The law on the alimony guarantee fund already provides for many restrictions for debtors in order to motivate them to fulfill their obligations – to pay alimony and provide their children with finances.

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