Salaspils Council decides to limit gambling activities

All gambling location Salaspils will need to close down in the next five years, as reported by Salaspils Council public relations specialist Ginta Zēberga.
On 29 December 2021 Salaspils Council passed binding regulations and local planning for the organisation of gambling activities within the territory of Salaspils. This was done in an effort to limit the availability of gambling within city limits.
This means that
in accordance with Section 42 of the Law on Gambling and Lotteries, the municipal administration has the right to issue binding rules with which to outline locations and territories within which no gambling is allowed.
The passed territorial planning limits the organisation of gambling in areas where most of Salaspils population live, where important city infrastructure is located or where most of the city’s public services are provided, the council notes.
The local planning area takes up 29% of the city’s territory (15.1 km2). «In the local planning area we have included densely populated areas, cultural and historical environment, tourism locations and other aspects under which gambling would not be possible. As it is known, this form of business is legal in Latvia. However, we’ve made this decision in consideration of our residents’ opinion,» says Salaspils Council chairman Raimonds Čudars.
The council notes that four gambling locations have been active in Salaspils for more than ten years and all of them are concentrated in the areas with the most apartment buildings in the city – HES village. In this area are Salaspils 1st Secondary School, Salaspils Primary School, kindergartens and other public places residents visit every day (sports hall, public catering locations, library, stores).
There are 18 thousand people living in Salaspils. This includes more than 5 000 children. The number of adults who have the right to engage in gambling reaches nearly 13 000.
«Since the negative effect gambling has on people’s health, social and economic situation has been proven multiple times in recent history, we have to limit this type of business as much as we can,» explains the municipal administration.
The council also notes that gambling within the city centre is incompatible with Salaspils municipality’s sustainable development strategy. Guidelines provide for offering a range of services in Salaspils in a long-term perspective that help provide a suitable and attractive environment for families, as well as infrastructure suitable for modern entrepreneurship.
The decision on the development of local planning guidelines was made by Salaspils Council in 2020. The local planning was developed in a way to prevent a possible conflict of interests between public and business interests with the organisation of gambling in specific areas and territories in which such businesses may be inappropriate.