The parliament for the small Baltic nation of Latvia has reportedly approved a new budget for next year that is to increase the amount of tax operators will be required to pay for every land-based slot and gaming table they intend to run.
According to separate reports from iGamingBusiness.com and CalvinAyre.com, the new measures are to come into force from the first day of January and will see the annual individual flat fee levied against land-based slots boosted by just over 24% to €5,172 ($5,719) with the rate for counterpart gaming tables such as those featuring roulette elevated by 20% to €28,080 ($31,057).
Alongside the tax rises for land-based slots and gaming tables, the 100-member parliament also reportedly endorsed an independent provision that is to see the nation’s central treasury up the amount of cash it receives from such fees by some 15% to an imposing 90%.
CalvinAyre.com reported that the government of Latvia currently banks 75% of any gambling duties it collects with the remainder parceled out to the municipalities in which these games are located. But, it detailed that the new changes are set to involve this rate for individual localities dropping to only 10% from January.
iGamingBusiness.com reported that Latvia generated approximately €8.1 million ($8.9 million) in aggregated tax revenues from gaming tables over the course of the six months from January at an average per unit rate of about €132,164 ($146,191). But, slots were purportedly even more lucrative for the nation of 1.9 million people as it managed to collect some €111.5 million ($123.3 million) in combined duties over the course of the half-year period courtesy of a mean individual contribution of around €12,896 ($14,264).
The news domains both additionally reported that Latvia’s Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection (IAUI) regulator used an official statement last week to warn consumers about the recent proliferation in online fraud and counterfeit lotteries. The authority purportedly declared that it was currently ‘virtually impossible’ to successfully identify all illicit operators and that potential players should look out for a number of red flags before parting with any cash.
The IAUI’s caution had advised aficionados to be wary of any games that offered to award an unsolicited prize, asked for upfront tax payments or used an e-mail address from a generic service provider.
Reportedly read the caution from the IAUI…
“In a state-controlled lottery, the winner will never have to pay the prize tax or money transfer commission before receiving the prize. Don’t send your personal data, bank account details and money to unknown people.”