Latvia's Lotteries and Gambling Supervision Inspection Director Signe Birne has revealed to the Poker News why his country is enforcing an online gambling blacklist after nearly 10 years of non-enforcement.
Birne said that Latvia's strategy behind enforcing the blacklist came after four very large online betting companies obtained licenses, exerting pressure on the agency to enforce existing blacklists.
The licensing of the four operators "...led to a strong political pressure to stop the illegal businesses, and that's why we have started to block the unlicensed sites. Advertisement and the activities of illegal operators became too aggressive, and that obliged us to proceed with the block of the sites and of all the transactions related to their operations."
In the past, many online casino operators avoided the legal Latvian market due to high costs. This may change in the future though, as potential reform to the country's online betting regulations could bring sweeping change.
Still, the move is a bit of an interesting one, given that Latvia legalized online betting in 2006 but never began enforcing the law until last month.