By James Spillane, Rakeback.com Staff Writer
|Legislation||Deposits & Cashouts||PokerStars||Do I Need a VPN?|
Online poker is legal and regulated in Latvia since 2003, with over 160 licensed gambling websites open. However offshore sites - including popular names PokerStars, Full Tilt, Unibet, Bet365 and PartyPoker are blacklisted, as the government prohibits them from offering their services within Latvia. Players can still access these sites by VPN.
E-wallets Skrill (formerly Moneybookers) and Neteller are preferred by many grinders as they avoid fees and taxes associated with banks and gambling transactions, and don't require you to share banking information with poker sites.
|Latvia Currency - Euro (EUR)|
For the initial download, yes. While playing online poker is not illegal in Latvia, the government has blocked offshore online gambing domains to restrict the market to sites that have a license in the country. PokerStars is likely in the process of applying a license, although in the meantime a VPN is one solution. Players can then sign up to leading online poker rooms with larger playerpools.
While a poker room's domain may be down, preventing new players from downloading the client, those who have already downloaded the software can still log in and play unrestricted. The sites are based offshore (e.g. Malta / Gibraltar) with EU licenses - balances and cashouts remain safe despite one country's internet censorship.
If you are unable to download a poker client simply use a cheap VPN service such as StrongVPN or HideMyAss to do so. After install it is no longer necessary to use a VPN although some grinders continue to do so if playing over public wifi, for extra security. Site reps have confirmed on the forums that VPNs are not prohibited, with the exception of VPN use to play online from the US.
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