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Latvian PM Suggests Reopening Gambling Law

23 November 2005

RIGA, Latvia – At reported by the Baltic Times: "Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis offered to reopen a law granting the right to regulate gaming institutions only to the federal government, he told journalists on Nov. 21.

"The announcement came after public uproar over Parliament's decision to strip the rights from municipalities - namely to determine zoning restrictions on casinos, gambling houses and slot machine halls.

"Parliament passed the law on Nov. 17 with support from the left-wing opposition, while coalition partner New Era decried the legislation, saying it would lead to the government's demise.

"But the outrage continued, with dissatisfaction coming from Kalvitis' People's Party and Latvia's First Party, another coalition member.

"Riga gambling house owners rejoiced at the law, since the Riga City Council has adopted restrictions on where casinos can be located in the capital; it wanted all casinos and slot machines to be concentrated in hotels. Many casinos and slot halls stood to lose out from the city's restrictions…"

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