Latvian lawmakers proposes new live dealer casino fees

The government of Latvia plans to impose new fees on live dealer casino games broadcast from the country, in a move that could hit major suppliers such as Evolution Gaming and Playtech.

The Latvian parliament is expected to implement the new fees from 2018, with Evolution noting that the business could be "compromised" by the new fee, as its main live dealer studio operates in the Latvian capital Riga.

However, it went to state: "Evolution regularly manages new regulatory propositions and changes, and the company already pays licence fees in several markets. The planned fee is not assessed to substantially impact the company’s position."

The company added that there is currently no certainty that the live casino fee will be imposed, given that it has been introduced by the Latvian Parliament against the recommendation of the Cabinet of Ministers and industry stakeholders.

Playtech, which opened a new 8,500 square-meter facility in Riga this year – one of the biggest in the market – is also likely to be hit by the fee, although the supplier declined to comment on its potential impact.

Shares in Evolution Gaming AB (Co.Data) (STO:EVO) were trading up 0.74 per cent at SEK546.00 per share in Stockholm Friday morning, while shares in Playtech plc (Co.Data) (LSE:PTEC) were down 0.53 per cent at 940.00 pence per share in London.

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