Daugavpils joins bid to close gambling halls

Daugavpils, Latvia's second city, is to close all of its gambling halls, mayor Andrejs Elksniņš (Harmony) said in a press conference this week.

The first gambling hall to be closed is in central Daugavpils at Cietokšņa street 60. Elksniņš said on Facebook that there were 44 disruptions of public order at the place last year and 19 this year.

Closures of gambling halls at Ķīmiķi, Jaunā Forštate and Jaunbūve neighborhoods are to follow.

"There won't be any gambling halls in Daugavpils, just like in Rīga," said Elksniņš.


Last year, there were about 220 municipal and state police calls to gambling halls in Daugavpils. Most of the cases involved fighting, while locals have also complained about loud music and intoxicated gamblers.

The Latvian capital is planning to shut down all gaming venues in the city, in both the downtown and in neighborhoods. This cannot happen earlier than 2024 as service providers are to be given at least five years' notice before being moved out. 

As reported, in 2017 Rīga City Council announced a plan to shut gambling houses in central Rīga within five years; the plan now encompasses closing all but every single gambling house in Rīga.

Particularly in Latvia's regions, but also in Rīga gambling houses are almost always found on the same street with pawnshops and payday lenders. 

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