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Latvian Constitutional Court has Opened Proceedings relating to Prohibition of Online Gambling Industry

13 May 2020, 11:07
Votes: 2

The Latvian court, which oversees compliance with the Satversme – the country's Constitution, has opened a case regarding the temporary prohibition of online gambling operations related to the emergency situation. Experts from 1ante.com commented on the situation.

Latvian Constitutional Court has Opened Proceedings relating to Prohibition of Online Gambling Industry

Information about the opening of the case came from the representative of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia Ketija Strazda.

Earlier, representatives of the gambling operator Optibet said that the measure taken by the authorities in relation to the online gambling market is disproportionate. In addition, market participants believe that the decision of the authorities limits the freedom of business.

It was representatives of Optibet who filed the lawsuit with the Constitutional Court and is going to challenge the decision, based on a referral to article 105 of the basic law of Latvia.

Representatives of 1ante.com explain that the article mentioned above states that everyone is vested with the right of ownership, but the latter cannot be used against public interests. In this context, forced disposition of property may be applied in exceptional cases. To implement the latter, it is necessary to issue a separate law providing for fair compensation.

As the representatives of 1Ante explain, the company, which filed the lawsuit, believes that the government’s ban violated the right of operators to property, as well as the right to conduct commercial activities. In addition, the operator’s representatives added that the stated goal of the authorities – to protect society from the coronavirus pandemic – is disproportionate because online gambling services are provided in the absence of face-to-face contact.

According to the preliminary request of the Constitutional Court, the Saeima of Latvia is obliged to submit its own justification for the ban by July 8. The resolution of the lawsuit should take place before October 8 of this year.

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