Betting in Riga

Published: 22/04/2013

As the capital of Latvia, Riga is also the nation’s largest city with a metro population of just over one million residents. It is located on a flat, sandy plain at the mouth of the River Daugava, where it faces the Gulf of Riga on the Baltic Sea. Since its founding in 1201, Riga has been an important seaport and centre of commerce, and it has grown as a major industrial, commercial, cultural and financial hub as well. Tourism is gradually becoming a large industry in Riga, too, growing 22% in 2011

Riga’s administrative functions are divided into six areas: the Central, Kurzeme and Northern Districts, plus the Latgale, Vidzeme and Zemgale Suburbs. The Central District is located on the right bank of the river, marked by numerous parks, monuments, embassies, hotels, theatres and vestiges of “Old Town.” Its modern “Boulevard District” was built atop the ruins of the city’s ancient fortifications adjacent to a canal, which is 3.2 kilometres (2.0 miles) long and surrounded by parkland for half of its length.

Casinos have become immensely popular in Riga since the turn of the new millennium, especially stand-alone slot emporiums, which can be found at locations all over the city. These gaming machine venues are almost completely dominated by three entertainment companies, the longest-established of which are the Olympic Casinos operated by the Olympic Entertainment Group based out of the Republic of Estonia.

With a 3,701-square-foot gaming space, the Olympic Casino – Domina is representative of most of the properties in this chain. It is located inside the Domina Shopping Centre on Ieriķu Street and features 51 gaming machines that operate 24/7. Designed in modern, extravagant style, there is also a bar on the premises serving drinks.

Nine similar if somewhat sister sites with 20~50 gaming machines dot the capital, two of them bearing the “Olympic City Casino” brand name. There is also one property covering 24,500 square feet with 19 slots and tables for American Roulette, Blackjack, Oasis Poker, Draw Poker, Texas Hold’em Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em Poker and Open Poker. It is called the Olympic Voodoo Casino, and it is inside the 540-room Radisson Blu Hotel Latvija facing the Esplanāde in the Central District.

Established in 1994, Zilais Dimants is a local chain that recently surpassed Olympic Entertainment in the number of gaming halls located in Riga. Fully 27 Zilais Dimants venues can be found around the city, most offering an on-site cocktail bar, billiards and 15 or more slot machines open 24 hours a day. Other benefits for patrons include free Wi-Fi access, delicious coffee and “tasteful” music. Zilais Dimants also operates one Bingo hall in Riga’s Central District called Brīvības 96.

The third major gaming entity in Riga is Post Nevada, established in 1991. The company owns the brand known as “Labirints Slots” (Labyrinth Slots), of which seven branches have been opened in the city. The typical franchise has 25 gaming machines and is open round the clock but does not have a bar or serve alcohol.

Two venues under the Casino 777 name are located in the Central District—the Grecinieku property near the river and the Elizabetes site near the Esplanāde. Both differ from the usual slot halls in that they feature Blackjack, Roulette and Oasis Poker. The action goes on 24/7 and each site has its own bar, food menu and cigar service.

There are a couple of other casinos inside hotels with Riga’s Central District’s. The 60-room Europa Royale Riga Hotel on Krisjana Barona Street is home to the Europa Club Casino, open daily from 1pm to 7am. Its gaming space features ten gaming machines and eight table games, including Roulette and Poker.

Then, about eight blocks to the northeast on Tērbatas Street is the luxurious Royal Casino Spa & Hotel Resort, where all of the rooms are suites. The casino is open 24/7, featuring nine gaming machines and 14 tables for Roulette, Blackjack and Poker under crystal chandeliers. Also on site are a restaurant and bar, a spa and fitness center, two nightclubs, a striptease club and a stretch limousine service.

Published on: 22/04/2013

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