Lithuania is a Baltic state in northern Europe, where almost all modern types of gambling are allowed. The final legalization of gambling took place in the Republic of Lithuania in 2001. Sports betting, slot machines and bingo are especially popular in the country. More detailed information for choosing casinos and online casinos in Lithuania at choicecasino.com
Land-based casinos are widely developed in Lithuania. Over 60 establishments function on the territory of the republic. Most of them are owned by the largest Lithuanian operator Casino Olympic. Despite strict legal restrictions in the field of online casinos, sites of this format successfully operate in the republic and are available to most Lithuanian users.
Lithuanian gambling legislation
Gambling is regulated by the Lithuanian Gambling Control Authority under the Ministry of Finance, which is headed by Virginijus Daukšys. After the republic declared its sovereignty in 1990, gambling was legalized, but four years later the ban on this kind of activity came into force again. In 2001, the situation changed. A law was passed, thanks to which gambling was able to get out of the underground.
The following types of gambling are allowed in Lithuania:
- table and card casino games;
- slot machines;
- bets and sweepstakes;
The procedure for legalizing gambling was long and difficult. This initiative was actively opposed by the Catholic Church, which has a powerful influence in Lithuania. Proponents of legalization appealed to the fact that gambling fans find an opportunity to gamble in neighboring states, which does not reduce the potential harm from gambling addiction and, at the same time, deprives the country of an impressive income. In addition, the ban on gambling had a negative impact on the Lithuanian tourism industry. Thus, in 2000, the bill was still approved, and in the middle of the next year came into force.
Gambling business licensing in Lithuania
The following types of licenses are provided:
- category A table games and slot machines;
- slot machines of category B;
- sports betting;
The license is issued by the committee after approval by the local government. The organization of this kind of activity is not allowed to be carried out by convicted persons or persons noticed in connections with criminal groups. Advertising of gambling is prohibited in Lithuania. Gambling establishments cannot be located in residential buildings, in the immediate vicinity of health and educational institutions.
When organizing games, only labeled and licensed equipment is allowed. Founders are prohibited from organizing other activities. You can only participate in gambling from the age of 18. Income tax from the activities of gambling establishments is 15% and is paid once a quarter.
In 2016, a law came into force in Lithuania, which tightened the procedure for regulating online casinos. According to this regulation, the operator is obliged to enter into a partnership with a Lithuanian land-based establishment for full legal activity. The authorized capital of the company must be at least 1,800,000 USD. When developing the bill, the Lithuanian authorities took as a model a similar law in Belgium, which has almost identical provisions.
After amending the law regulating gambling, a blacklist of Internet resources was formed. It includes sites whose activities do not meet the new requirements. The banned resources include such popular international services as Unibet, William Hill and Betway. Any financial institution supporting transactions with illegal online casinos runs the risk of being subject to penalties.
Popular casinos and games
One of the largest gambling services in Lithuania is OlyBet from Olympic Casino. It is the first licensed operator in the country to have the widest network of terrestrial establishments. The resource offers the following gambling entertainment:
- slot machines;
- emulators of board games;
- making bets;
The Olympic Casino online service is available not only to users from Lithuania, but also to players from other countries of the world. The casino has a good reputation, provides gamblers with all the necessary guarantees and has the highest traffic among Lithuanian services. In addition, the following online casinos are popular in Lithuania:
- Royal Panda.
Despite the blocking of many Internet resources, users interested in a rich selection of games and favorable conditions find ways to access the sites they need.
Based on the OlyBet casino rating, the following slot machines are currently most in demand in Lithuania:
- Volcano Eruption by NextGen;
- Gorilla Go Wild by NextGen
- Burning Hot by EGT;
- 40 Super Hot from EGT;
- Merlin’s Millions from NextGen.
As in other EU states, there is a growing interest in betting in Lithuania. Especially among Lithuanian players, betting on basketball is popular, since this particular sport is considered national among the inhabitants of the republic.
There are currently no gambling software companies in Lithuania. Nevertheless, representative offices of such manufacturers as MrSlotty and Tom Horn Gaming operate in the republic. Games from the following companies are popular in Lithuania:
Restrictions on the activities of online casino operators in Lithuania are heavily criticized by the European Commission. This allows us to predict further changes in the legislation, which will make the environment for the work of European operators more favorable and loyal. Similar precedents have already taken place in Sweden and other EU member states. In connection with the requirements for ensuring free access to legal services of EU companies, the authorities of these states were forced to relax the previously established requirements.
Analysis of the current situation in the virtual gambling business in Lithuania in comparison with other EU countries allows us to assert that this segment of the entertainment industry is still in the stage of formation. The existing legislative framework raises a lot of criticism from both players and international regulatory bodies.
On the one hand, gamblers have the opportunity to provide themselves with access to the resources of interest, since there is no responsibility for the game on foreign sites. On the other hand, the experience of other European countries shows that the laws will change in the direction of democratization in relation to foreign operators very soon. As for land-based establishments, their work is organized at the highest level and is able to meet the requirements of all categories of players.