Latvia's Talsi municipality to crack down on gambling

Talsi municipality will no longer issue permits for organizing new types of gambling, according to the binding regulations of Talsi municipality "On organizing gambling", which entered into force this month, LETA reports.

The regulations stipulate that a gambling organizer who has already been granted a permit to organize gambling will have the permit valid for another five years from the date of entry into force of the binding regulations.

This decision was adopted at a meeting of the Municipal Council of Talsi Municipality to reduce the risk of gambling addiction by imposing restrictions on the organisation of gambling.

In 2019, the Ministry of Health published the final report of the study "Study on the prevalence of process addictions (gambling, social media, computer game addiction) among the Latvian population and risk factors affecting them", which found that 79,119 persons aged 15-64 could suffer from gambling addiction in Latvia to varying degrees, 16,162 of them at the most severe level.

The study concludes that one of the most effective measures to curb gambling, from the perspective of international experience, experts and gamblers themselves, is to reduce accessibility. The study found that problem gamblers point out that gambling hall chains are so close to their homes that it is impossible to avoid visual contact.

Thus, Talsi municipality plans that the rules will reduce the risk of gambling addiction locally.

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