Paf details new responsible gambling push in Latvia

17 October 2019

Åland Islands-based Paf has joined forces with four other operators on a new initiative to strengthen their responsible gaming efforts in Latvia.

Paf, which operates as Pafbet in Latvia, will work with Betsafe, Optibet, and Feniksscasino to improve their responsible gaming measures beyond the requirements of gambling law in the Baltic state.

Latvia’s Gambling Act includes only a small number of responsibility measures, such as that players must set a bet limit for one game or a maximum amount for all bets within a 24-hour period. Consumers can also self-exclude from a gaming operator.

However, the new initiative will see Paf and the other operators introduce their own responsible gaming tools. The group, which together represents 90% of the Latvian online gaming market, agreed to launch these measures by 30 June 2020.

Rihards Streikis, Paf's manager in Latvia, said among the operator’s own targets will be to introduce new facilities for self-tests, deposit limits, closing specific game categories and publishing proactive information on responsible gaming.

“It will be a clear improvement on what the gambling law in Latvia requires,” Streikis said. “Paf’s licensed brand in Latvia may currently have a small part of the market but we have the most developed responsible gaming; we are an example for the other operators.”

The commitment comes after Paf this month also moved to lower its maximum annual loss limit from €30,000 (£25,854/$33,226) to €25,000 in order to offer greater protection to its players from gambling-related harms.

Paf introduced the initial loss limit in June 2018 and at the time estimated that it would lose 5% of its income because of the feature. In May, Paf cited the limits as the primary reason for a decline in overall revenue in 2018.

Revenue slipped from €116.5m to €111.8m and online revenue fell from €84.5m to €80.0m in 2018. This month, Paf said the lowering of the limit should cost the business about 2% of its revenue, or around €2m.