Olympic Casino in Latvia

Posted on 29.06.2007

Olympic Casino started its operations in Latvia in August 2002 when the casino Daugava in Riga was purchased . In December 2005 another casino operator - Baltic Gaming - was purchased.
By this transaction number of Olympic Casino casinos increased to 38 from which 2 casinos with gaming tables in Riga and 36 slot machine casinos in Riga and outside of it. In addition one totally new casino was opened in the resort town Jurmala, in the recently renovated Hotel Jurmala SPA and June 2006 opened in Riga its doors the largest casino in the Baltic countries – Olympic Voodoo Casino.

Currently Olympic Casino in Latvia has in total 39 gaming tables and 1227 slot machines from which 329 are connected to EZ-Pay system.

Dramatic Growth

During the year 2006, the Olympic Entertainment Group in Latvia has developed significantly. In December 2005, the Olympic Entertainment Group acquired Baltic Gaming, the second largest Latvian gaming operator. Most casinos owned by Baltic Gaming and operating under the brandname Bumerangs were integrated into the Olympic network and refurbished accordingly. The first 6 Bumerangs casinos were re-branded as Olympic Casinos in 2006 and for 2007 we have set the target of continuing with this process and re-branding at least 10 more casinos. It has been proven that by re-branding these clubs, new Olympic-branded casinos become much more attractive to our customers, who evaluate our intention to increase the quality of our venues and bring the gaming business in Latvia to much higher level.

In 2006, growth in the Latvian Gaming Market was 146,5% compared to the previous year. Two gaming organizers in Latvia, owned by Olympic Entertainment Group - Olympic Casino Latvia SIA and Baltic Gaming A/S together managed to achieve 14.8% of the market share in total, giving Olympic Entertainment Group a stable second place in the Latvian Gaming market. Growth of gaming business turnover for both companies together was 149% compared to 2005.
Gints Pakarklis
Gints Pakarklis
Managing Director
Olympic Casino Latvia

The main reasons for such growth where: opening two new slot casinos (one in February, one in March); opening the largest casino in the Baltics - Olympic Voodoo Casino, in June. Olympic Voodoo Casino is the most modern of its kind. Since opening, our high expectations have rung true and opening this casino was fully justified - the entire Olympic Voodoo Casino team is working hard to fill this casino with what our customers expect. Since Olympic Voodoo Casino opened, we have managed to raise customers' expectations and understanding of quality entertainment to a much higher level.

The Latvian organization has developed significantly during last year. It is worth mentioning, that approx 200 employees were working in Olympic Entertainment Group Latvian subsidiaries before Baltic Gaming acquisition and at the end of 2006 this figure was 837. That constitutes dramatic growth.

During 2006 the Latvian gaming market experienced significant development. The Latvian Government has demanded the increase of quality of casinos by introducing the new Law on Lotteries and Gambling. This Law imposes much stricter requirements with respect to gaming operators and venues. The said requirements have been implemented gradually, with a transitional period ending on January 1 2007 with respect to increased statutory capital requirements. The requirement concerning the minimum number of slot machines in slot casinos already entered into force on July 1 2006 and meant increasing the minimum amount of slot machines from 10 to 20 and the minimum amount of gaming tables in casinos to 10 tables in Riga and 5 tables in casinos outside of Riga. All of these changes and demands were successfully implemented by July. One additional point worth mentioning is that as of 01.01.2007 slot machines are no longer allowed in bars, cafes etc - the gaming business will be limited to casinos only. It is anticipated that a considerable number of smaller casinos will disappear as a result of the aforementioned changes, thus benefiting the market position of those operators who correspond to the higher standards of service and organisation.

Our customers have accepted those changes and are showing their positive attitude towards them. For gaming organizers like ourselves - it is obvious that customers value entertainment in a pleasant and safe atmosphere, so this is the way to success in the future.

On the subject of marketing - our most successful and visible public campaign (since gambling advertising is prohibited in Latvia) was our personnel recruitment campaign for Olympic Voodoo Casino. We received more than 500 applications for various positions, despite the fact that the labour market situation in Latvia is quite critical. This demonstrated the quality of our company's image and that good results can be achieved through the close cooperation of various departments of our organization.

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