|Population July 2013:||2.2 million|
|GDP 2012:||21 Billion EUR|
|GDP per capita:||13,300 EUR|
|Taxation for Lotteries:||8%|
||regulated, taxation: 10% GGR|
To organise a lottery in Latvia or any other form of gambling, a license is required, issued by the Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection, a department of the Ministry of Finance. Since 1998, the Inspection supervises all forms of gaming and issues and revokes the licenses. The current legal framework for all gaming operations in Latvia is the Gambling and Lotteries Law, adopted at the 1st of January 2006. Also of importance is the Law on Lotteries and Gambling Tax and Fee. Only one operator is licensed to organise the national lottery. The remaining operators mainly operate slot machines and casino games.
There are three types of lottery games in Latvia: state-level lotteries, local scale lotteries and local scale type lotteries. The state-level lottery may only be organised by a joint-stock company, of which the state is the sole owner. At the moment, this license is issued to Latvijas Loto. A requirement is that the total value of lottery tickets may not be less than 100,000 lats (€ 140,000). Local scale lotteries are organised within one city, district, county or parish. The total value of tickets may not exceed 10,000 lats (€ 14,000). The local scale type lotteries are organised during public events and the total value of tickets sold may not exceed 500 lats (€ 705). No money prizes may be awarded. NGOs and religious organisations that organise local lotteries are exempted from taxes and fees. All other operators with a license must pay lottery and gambling tax and a state fee.
According to one news source, the Latvian gambling market was worth € 133 million in gross gaming revenues in 2010. Turnover in the first half of 2013 amounted to 62.7 million lats (€ 90 million).
Interactive gambling – through electronic means – is regulated in Latvia. A new law which was scheduled for January 2012 has recently passed approval in Parliament and will likely come into force in 2014. It will still contain the requirement that the servers of online operators must be located in Latvia. The regulated games currently are: totalisator, betting, slot machine games, roulette games, card games, dibs, and bingo. The new draft legislation would enable website and payment blocking. The tax would be lowered to from 10% to 5% on GGR. All new applicants for gambling licences (both online or otherwise) will be required to pay a uniform licence fee of 300,000 lats (€ 43,000).
As far as we know, no lotteries in Latvia exist that meet the criteria of a charity lottery. As the only national lottery in Latvia, Latvijas Loto is mentioned below. However, no charities benefit from this lottery.
Latvijas Loto was established in 1972 as a part of Sojuzsportloto. After the independence of Latvia in the beginning of the 1990s, a reorganisation took place and Latvijas Loto was established as the lottery company. Since 1993, the Latloto 5/35 is Latvia’s national lottery. Other games that are offered by Latvijas Loto are Keno, SuperBingo, Džokers, Sportloto (sports betting) and 10 instant lotteries. Latvijas Loto has 1,100 points of sale throughout Latvia.
The lottery market constitutes a small part of the total Latvian gaming market. In 2009, the gross gaming revenues (GGR) from Latvijas Loto were 6.5 million lats (€ 9.1 million, 20%↓), which represents 5% of total GGR in Latvia. Around 43% was awarded as prize money.
All revenues of the lottery go to the state budget. 10% of instant sales and 8% of lottery sales is distributed as tax, which is earmarked for sports (50%) and cultural projects (50%). All profits (after budget payments) generated from sales are distributed in different ways – to company evolution, share holders etc.
The lottery also makes small donations directly to charities who are concerned with children’s welfare. Charitable organizations can apply for funding and the grants are awarded by the lottery several times a year. In 2013 the total amount granted amounted to € 14,000.
The lottery grew in trunover between 2003 and 2008, from € 4.2 million to € 11.5 million, but declined along with the economic conditions. However, sales in the frist half of 2013 grew 20% compared to the same period the year before (from € 6.8 million to € 9.5 million), according to a news source. For more information, visit: www.latloto.lv