On Tuesday, May 17, the Budget and Finance Committee of the Saeima conceptually adopted amendments to the Gambling and Lotteries Act. These amendments plan to limit the accessibility of games of chance and reduce the risks associated with gambling.

“The committee has decided to reject the previous bill submitted to the Saeima. The project in question provides for specific measures to limit gambling. Instead, the committee decided to propose its own amendments. It is proposed to increase the age limit for participation in gambling, to reduce the accessibility of gambling and to define new restricted territories for gambling,” said the chairman of the budget committee. Martiņš Bondars.

The amendments plan to prohibit people under the age of 21 from participating in gambling.

Currently, people aged 18 and over are allowed to gamble in Latvia. Changes have been proposed to protect members of society who do not have a clear understanding of the concept of financial independence and the negative influence of gambling on the development of a person’s psyche and ability to live in society. , the annotation to the bills mentions.

To reduce the accessibility of games of chance, it is planned to increase from 20 to 25 the minimum number of slot machines authorized to be installed in a single room. The measure aims to prevent small gambling halls from continuing to operate or opening a ship, as well as to toughen requirements for gambling operators, according to the authors of the amendments.

The amendments also provide for the prohibition of establishing game rooms in buildings that house educational institutions, as well as playgrounds and recreation areas. No games can be organized within 250 m of the entrances.

It is planned that all gambling will be banned in residences outside the historic center and protected areas of Riga, as well as in residences elsewhere in Latvia. The annotation to the draft legislation also mentions that the risk of gambling is increasing, as is the risk of residents acquiring problematic gambling habits if gambling halls are located close to their homes, the service told BNN. Saeima press.