Latvia Offshore Illegal Gambling Market Analysis

In the spring of 2022, the international research agency H2GC conducted an in-depth study of the shadow economy in the interactive gambling market in Latvia. Such a study was conducted for the first time in Latvia. We invite you to familiarize yourself with the research lead by H2GC Director David Henwood and Lead Analyst Ed Birkin.

Latvian interactive gambling industry:
challenges and solutions to reduce illegal market share

Reducing the share of illegal online gambling by combating the shadow economy and the risks of addiction is possible only if consumers are provided with a legal and controlled supply of interactive gambling. This is the conclusion of the study “Latvia’s interactive gambling industry: challenges and solutions for reducing illegal market share” conducted by SSE Riga professor and Director of the Sustainable Business Center Arnis Sauka.

This study was initiated by the Latvian Interactive Gambling Association at the end of 2019. The main objectives of the study are to identify the most important factors that contribute to the size of the illegal part in the Latvian interactive gambling market and to offer recommendations for reducing the size of the illegal market.

The study and its recommendations are based on the assumption that gambling, including interactive, poses serious addictive problems for some gamblers. However, in comparison to “land” gambling, it is not possible to completely close access to interactive gambling on the Internet. In addition, all available evidence suggests that despite various restrictions and educational campaigns, people will want to gamble – legally or illegally.

The study is based on several complementary data: the available statistics of the interactive gambling industry, in-depth interviews with the leaders of the largest companies in the industry, which in total make up about 90% of the volume of the interactive gambling industry in Latvia. In addition, interviews were conducted with representatives of the main responsible institution: the Ministry of Finance and the Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection. All interviews were conducted in early March 2020.