Latvia gambling revenue up more than 15% in Q1
Gambling revenue in Latvia increased 15.3% year-on-year in the first quarter, with national regulator the Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection (IAUI) reporting growth across all key verticals.
Revenue for the three months through to March 31, 2019, amounted to €77.5m (£66.9m/$87.2m), compared to €67.2m in the opening quarter of last year.
Income from gambling was also up 15.9% from €63.5m to €73.6m, with gaming machines the most popular form of betting in the country. Licenced operators took €56.4m in revenue from gaming machines in Q1, up 12.6% on €50.0m in 2018.
Gaming tables, including roulette and blackjack, contributed €3.9m to the total income figure, up 6.4% on €3.7m last year. Bingo income was also up by 44.8% to €73,000, while betting points income jumped 55.2% to €848,000.
The IAUI also noted significant growth within the online gambling market, with total income from this sector up 35.4% year-on-year to €12.4m.
Casino games were responsible for €8.8m of this income, up 39.2% on last year, while online betting brought in €3.5m for licensees, representing a year-on-year rise of 27.1%. Card tournaments income hit €73,000, up 15.8% on Q1 of 2018.
In terms of illegal online gambling activities, the IAUI moved to block 41 domain names in Q1, as well as 68 IP addresses. Since August 1, 2014, a total of 1,156 domain names and 2,459 IP addresses have been blocked as part of ongoing efforts by the IAUI to clamp down on unlicensed gaming.
In December, the European Gaming and Betting Association singled out Latvia and the IAUI for some of its initiatives to help protect consumers. These include not allowing players to gamble until they are verified and only permitting adverts inside gambling venues.
Image: Max Pixel