The Latvian sports betting industry is currently thriving, with the number of active punters increasing each day. According to the Latvian laws, punters are allowed to bet only using licensed Latvian betting sites. Such sites are limited, but the few available provide great services to ensure user satisfaction. Despite the limitations, many punters still use international betting sites to bet on their favorite sports. Hundreds of international betting sites accept Latvian punters.
The government has never filed legal charges against any punter for using the services of international betting providers. That is mostly because of the difficulty in regulating the international gambling industry. That is especially with improving technologies that offer enhanced privacy, such as VPNs and encryption software. However, the government has taken several measures to prevent or discourage punters from using international betting sites, a few of which are highlighted below.
The Latvian government began block listing international and unlicensed local betting websites in 2014. The first list of block-listed betting websites had 20 names, including some of the biggest names in the industry at the time. Several years later, the government has added tens of other names to the block list. Block listing means that internet services providers in Latvia are not allowed to provide their users with access to block-listed sites.
The Latvian government went a step further by blocking payment processing related to all the block-listed betting sites. It did so by making it illegal for payment method providers to process deposits or withdrawals made to or from the block-listed websites. However, access to international payment options has made this measure ineffective nowadays. There are also many new international casinos springing up at a rate higher than the government is blocking them.
Future of betting in Latvia
Experts predict that sports betting in Latvia will continue to thrive for a long time. That is thanks to the supportive gambling laws in the country, fueled by the government's need for the revenue derived from the industry. Sports are also becoming more popular, with more sports tournaments organized each year, resulting in increased betting markets. That will, in turn, result in an increased number of punters betting on the sports.