Olympic casinos extends legal battle over permits in Riga

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The listed Estonian gambling group Olympic Entertainment Group (OEG) has contested in a court of law the cancellation of the gambling permits for five more of its casinos in the Latvian capital Riga from 2022.

Previously OEG announced on Oct. 18 that it had filed an action with a court regarding the decisions to cancel the gambling permits of two of its casinos located in Riga.

OEG first informed shareholders in May this year about the plan of the Riga City Council to ban gambling in Riga's historic city center. Olympic's Latvian subsidiary, Olympic Casino Latvia SIA, has received in total seven decisions taken by the Riga council to cancel a permit to organize gambling activities in a casino in Riga with a transition period of five years, and has filed actions with a court regarding the decisions.

According to the decisions made by the Riga City Council, two of these casinos should be closed by September 2022 and five casinos by November 2022.

Five years from now, in the autumn of 2022, up to 42 casinos are to be closed in Riga's historic center, of which seven belong to the subsidiary of OEG.

OEG believes that the decision to cancel the permits to organize gambling activities in Riga's historic center runs counter to valid Latvian laws, and has filed actions with a court to have the decisions declared invalid.

In case of the most negative scenario, the subsidiary of OEG must close the seven slot casinos in Riga's historic center no earlier than in autumn 2022. OEG's flagship casino in Riga -- Olympic Voodoo Casino -- does not fall under the ban and in the long run the ban rather will have a positive effect on the revenues of Olympic Voodoo Casino.

OEG operates altogether more than 50 casinos in Latvia. The revenue of its Latvian subsidiary in 2016 totaled €66.2 million and operating profit €24.1 million. In total 900 people work for OEG in Latvia.

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