President calls for online gambling regulation in Lithuania

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Unregulated online gambling becomes a part of opaque economy or even underground criminal business.

Lithuania and the Netherlands are the only member states of the European Union where remote gambling activities have not been regulated.

The amendments are the first step towards regulation and supervision of online gambling. This will help with the prevention of the underground economy and protect people from illegal and uncontrolled online gambling, which attracts increasingly more minors.

Lithuanian residents gamble online using services of foreign companies that avoid supervision and liability for irresponsible and sometimes opaque activities.

The amendments to the Gaming Law stipulate that remote gambling may be organised only by companies that are certified by Lithuania’s Gaming Control Authority. This will allow for effective supervision of companies engaged in such activities and enable applying measures that protect individuals susceptible to gambling from incurring considerable financial damages.

The European Commission has reminded Lithuania about the need to regulate remote gambling, it has stated that online gambling may be organised only in accordance with the public order, security and health. Therefore, in order for the legislation to confirm with EU law, additional steps will have to be made before the law takes effect.

Furthermore, President Grybauskaitė has noted that gambling activities must not be promoted. On the contrary, expansion of gambling must be controlled more tightly, seeking to reduce the risk of addiction to gambling and, if necessary, take additional measures for gambling not to become a bigger social problem.

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