Riga, the capital of Latvia, will see a change to the gambling activities on offer in the historic district after the City Council decided to vote in approval of a prohibition on slot halls in the district. The only slot halls that will be allowed to remain will be those located in four and five-star hotels.
The Riga City Council vote will see a total of 41 gaming halls shut down and comes just after a ruling by the Supreme Court in which approval was given in regards to a rejection by the city council in regards to a new venue for the old district. The Olympic Entertainment Group will have to shut down seven slot halls as they have as many operating in the district.
Madis Jääger is the CEO of Olympic Entertainment Group, who stated that the legal department of Riga is preparing closing resolutions for every gambling hall in the historical center of the city. The City Council will then vote on each venue separately in regards to shut down and operators will have five years to close their gambling operations at that location.
The CEO further stated that the most negative scenario would see the subsidiaries of OEG having to close no earlier than June 2022. The Olympic Voodoo Casino is the flagship casino of OEG located in Riga that will not fall under the ban and the company sees the ban as having a positive impact on the revenues of this venue in the long run.
Arnis Verzemnieks is an advisor of the Latvian Gaming Business Association who has stated that the business district will see less foot traffic due to the ban and it is impossible for operators of Riga to consider long-term investments with the erratic regulatory environment.