What does the process of obtaining a license in Latvia look like?

The gambling industry plays a significant role in Latvia’s economy. Unlike other post-Soviet countries, Latvia never imposed strict restrictions on casinos and sportsbooks. They issue licenses for video slots, roulette, blackjack and other games. The licensing requirements and the taxation policy are very favorable for licensees. The permit is issued for an unlimited duration, but operators must undergo a re-registration process every year. What else should entrepreneurs be aware of when it comes to opening an iGaming business in Latvia?

Main requirements for applicants

Latvia is a sovereign republic located in the Baltic Region of Northern Europe. It is a part of the European Union and European Economic Area. The responsibility to oversee the gambling market and issue licenses lies with the Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection.

In order to obtain a permit for casino games and sports betting, operators must meet the following criteria:

  • A company must be registered in Latvia and have a share capital of at least €1.4 million;
  • Foreign investors cannot own more than 49% of the shares. This rule does not apply to EU residents and Economic Cooperation Organization members;
  • At least one director must be an EU resident;
  • A company’s management must have an untarnished reputation and a clear criminal record;
  • Only licensed gambling software is allowed.

When applying, operators are required to provide financial reports for the latest quarters, software certificates and management’s identity documents. For land-based establishments, it is also necessary to appoint a gambling hall manager.

What license types are available in Latvia?

Special permits for operating gambling activities in Latvia may be obtained by both Latvian citizens and foreign nationals. One can get a license for:

  • Lotteries. There are two types of lotteries in the country: state and private ones.
  • Gaming machines. The process of obtaining a license for operating gaming machines takes 6 to 12 months.
  • Casinos. This permit allows entrepreneurs to open gambling halls in Latvia, as well as in other EU countries.
  • Sportsbooks. Bookmakers can accept bets on sports competitions, e-sports, political events, weather forecasts, etc.

In addition to acquiring one of the licenses above, a gambling business must obtain eCOGRA certification, which confirms the fairness of its gambling software.

If we are talking about land-based casinos, another important step is to find and certify a proper facility. Gambling halls’ layout and arrangement must meet the relevant regulatory requirements.

Getting a gambling license in Latvia. What else should an applicant know?

The share capital of €1.4 million and registration in Latvia do not guarantee the issuance of a license. In case the Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection has any doubts, they can request additional information about:

  • The source of funds. This procedure is necessary to confirm that the money was obtained through legal means;
  • The company’s loan liabilities;
  • The members of the management team, to assess their reputation and financial status.
As we have already mentioned, a gambling license in Latvia is issued for an indefinite period of time. However, yearly re-registration is required for all operators.


Obtaining a Latvian license is a mandatory process for operators who seek to open an online casino in this jurisdiction. In comparison to other EU countries, the cost of a license in Latvia is relatively low. The government has developed a regulatory framework for effective control over the gambling operations. It also protects players from additional risks associated with visiting dubious websites and makes conducting business a lot easier.

May 16, 2022