The inclusion of warnings on gambling ads will become mandatory in Lithuania from July, following the introduction of new legislation.
This law was passed by the Vilnius Seimas (Parliament). The country’s gambling authority will decide what must be included in displayed warnings.
Support for the law
The new legislation received high levels of support upon its first reading. Within Lithuania, the hope is that player safety can be improved – as has happened elsewhere in Europe.
Mykolas Majauskas, member of the Homeland Union political party, proposed the bill. He said that although “gambling is not an evil in itself”, ” it is important to be able to control the risks involved and minimise the negative consequences.
He also added the following.
“There is no need to jam poles into the spokes of the gaming market’s wheels in a way that would pull it off the road, but at least you need to attach reflectors.”
“By law, we would oblige the Gambling Authority to set clear rules and to make notes that would change every time. And we also expect a responsible and sensible approach to how these rules should be applied. That is, they would not apply, for example, to gambling branding on basketball players’ uniforms.”
Teaching players about both staying safe and the dangers of online gambling is seen by Majauskas as fundamental in curbing such issues. In his eyes, making the message clear through advertising is one way to achieve this.
The Seimas member continued by explaining this in more depth.
“Other countries in the European Union have very similar problems, they say: first, we need to educate; secondly, we must help those who have problems; third, we need to help people who have loved ones who have gambling problems.
“One of the basic tools for solving problems is public education, education through social advertising.”
Lithuania isn’t the only Baltic state to adopt a safer approach to gambling. Towards the end of last year, initiatives were launched in Latvia to protect players online.