An additional six slot halls in Riga are being forced to close up shop after the City Council decided to cancel the facilities operating licenses. The venues are in violation of the new urban planning rules of the city. Unfortunately, the gaming sites are located in housing areas or close to the protection zone of the historic center.
Gambling legislation in Latvia gives local government the right to revoke gambling licensing. This includes betting shops, gambling facilities, casinos, and bingo halls. The license can be taken away if officials feel the facility will harm residents of the local area or the nation in general.
This recent order was issued by the Security, Public Order and Corruption Prevention Committee. With this move, it brings the number of closures in Riga to 43. Any operator with licensing currently will see the option expire in five years.
New Gaming Experience
Politicians in the city want to see a new gaming experience offered in Riga. They only want facilities operating in four or five-star hotels. If this were to happen, then around 200 gambling facilities would shut down in the region.
Only a select few casinos would be allowed to stay in business. This would include the Olympic Voodoo Casino which is located at the Radisson Blu and the Shangri La Casino in Kempinski Hotel.
Riga began its fight against gambling back in 2011. The City Council decided to stop awarding new casino licenses at that time. By 2017, the first portion of gambling venue closures took place. A total of 42 facilities were shut down at that time.