The historical centre of Riga will be closing down its casino venues in accordance with a new ban on gambling activities in the area. This is being done in accordance with a law that was adopted in May and specifically works within this part of the capital of Latvia.
Gambling sites in four or five-star hotels will be exempt from this new policy. All other gaming sites in the historical centre will have to shut down in accordance with the requirements that have been imposed with this part of the city.
The information was revealed by the Olympic Entertainment Group AS. The group did mention that there are going to be some extensive rules going about in terms of getting these places to close down properly. Also, Olympic will be impacted by many of these closures although not as much as what might come about with some particular cases.
Although casino venues are being banned around this key part of the capital of Latvia, a vote on each venue will be held in terms of determining whether or not certain places in the city should close down. Any casino that is told to close down will be given a five-year period to ensure that it can meet the ban and therefore close down within a certain period of time.
It is not clear as to how some of these votes would go about. Considering the extensive nature of the band, there is a good chance that there will be plenty of casinos that will close down if not all of them in the historical centre of Riga being shut down.
The impact of this ban in Riga will be especially felt by Olympic Entertainment Group AS. As of March 2017, Olympic operates 120 casinos and 31 betting points with 54 of these locations being in Latvia. Seven of the 54 spots in the country would be impacted by the closures in the historical centre of the city. The revenues for Olympic before tax from its Latvian entities was €66.2 million while the operating profit was at €24.1 million.
The seven gaming sites that would fall under the ban are all slot casinos. The Olympic Voodoo Casino, the main flagship casino for the group within the city, will not be impacted by the changes in the law. There is a potential that revenues for this particular casino might actually increase due to the changes that have come about in the area.
This all comes not too long after Olympic decided to pull its casino operations out of Poland. The decision to get out of the Polish market came well before this move by the Latvian government was announced. However, other gaming groups like Bet365, Pinnacle and William Hill have also been leaving Poland due to that country’s extensive tax laws that have only become stronger. These are considered to be harming casino operators in the country, thus causing many of them to get out of the area.