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Lithuanian parliament bans all promotion of gambling

Lithuania’s parliament has passed a law that bans gambling promotion activities in all forms. The proposed gambling ban received 105 votes in favour and 14 abstentions and is expected to come into effect from July 1, 2021.

The ban

The Lithuanian parliament passed a new amendment to the country’s gambling laws has been passed in the Lithuanian parliament, prohibiting the promotion of gambling.

The ban will apply to all kinds of publicity through all media, including television and radio advertising but also all kinds of special events, test games, promotions, discounts, gifts, and other incentives. The ban will apply to both the land-based and online gambling markets throughout the country.

“It is a type of activity that costs too much for some people in terms of health and not just money,” Aurelijus Veryga of the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union told MPs.

However, the passing of the law drew a bitter reaction from some representatives of the gambling industry. Mantas Zakarka, a representative of Lithuania’s National Gambling and Gaming Business Association, said that the ban would prevent the entry of new operators into the market and would boost shadow businesses.

Consequences of the COVID-19

Authorities have expressed their intention to necessary to tackle problem gambling in the country after a survey, carried out by the country’s Gambling Supervisory Authority in November, showed strong support for an outright ban. Of the 1,001 adults surveyed, 76% said gambling advertising should be reduced, while 52% said it should be banned outright.

Lithuania already had strict rules for gambling advertisements, but Virginijus Dauksys, Director of the Gaming Control Authority, declared that the COVID 19  crisis worsened the situation of the gambling industry in the country. He confirmed that the authority had received many complaints about gambling operators for not fulfilling their obligations and delivering on their promises made while inviting people to gamble.

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