Tuesday July 29,2014 : LATVIA IN REGULATORY DISCUSSIONS WITH FRANCE
Latvian and ARJEL regulator chiefs examine topics of mutual interest.
The executive team from Latvian gambling regulator, Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection, met with top French regulator Charles Coppolani of ARJEL last week to discuss matters of mutual interest.
Representing Latvia across the table was Signe Birne, the LGSI's director and chairman of the Executive Board of the Gaming Regulators European Forum (GREF), and LGSI general counsel Janis Ungurs.
Announcing the conclusion of the meeting on its website, ARJEL commented only in general on the reason for the discussions, explaining that the Latvians had requested the meetings in order to profit from the experience built up by ARJEL in the national regulation of online gambling.
The announcement notes that although the two nations differ in regulatory frameworks and other areas, they share a common desire to protect consumers and combat illegal operators.
However, it seems from the ARJEL side that although the discussions were friendly and constructive, the nature of the two markets was sufficiently different to make specific agreement on areas of cooperation hard to find.
"The comparison of the two markets did not allow the different parties to find many points in common," the ARJEL statement notes, adding that the main differences exist in market structure, supply, and taxation.
One likely sticking point is the Latvian approach to online gambling, which tends to be more liberal and tax-friendly than its French counterpart.
On the tax front, for example, whilst French operators pay as much as 37 percent of GGR, Latvia's operators pay only 5 percent.
Last month ARJEL hosted executives from Singapore interested in studying the French regulatory model.