by Mateusz Mazur

Lithuania Proposes Stricter Gambling Ad Restrictions

In a significant move towards tightening the reins on gambling advertising, around 50 members of parliament, predominantly from Lithuania’s ruling Homeland Union party, have endorsed amendments to the country’s Gambling Act.

These proposed changes, set to take effect in 2025, aim to impose more stringent restrictions on gambling advertising, reflecting a growing concern over gambling’s societal impact.

Sweeping Changes Ahead

Under the new amendments, gambling operators would face a comprehensive ban on sponsoring public events, activities, and both natural and legal persons. This prohibition extends to the visibility of gambling brands and logos at sports venues and on athletes’ clothing, marking a significant departure from current practices.

Lithuania’s existing regulations on gambling advertising are already among the strictest, with the National Gambling Supervisory Authority actively enforcing rules that confine operator communications to purely informational content. The new proposals would further restrict operators, limiting them to publishing information solely in sector-specific publications, though allowances for brand visibility at head offices and gambling venues would remain.

Catalyst for Change

The push for these amendments follows allegations against Šarūnas Stepukonis, a former partner at BaltCap Infrastructure Fund, accused of embezzling and gambling away millions of euros from the company. This scandal has undoubtedly fueled the momentum for stricter regulatory oversight in the gambling sector.

Mindaugas Lingė, the proponent of the amendments, highlighted the significant growth in Lithuania’s gambling sector, with revenues soaring to €222.2 million in 2023, more than double the figures from 2020. This rapid growth, coupled with a corresponding increase in advertising spending and operators’ profits, underscores the urgent need for regulatory intervention.

Our Comment on the Article

The proposed amendments to Lithuania’s Gambling Act represent a critical juncture in the ongoing debate over gambling regulation and its societal impacts. By introducing more restrictive advertising rules, Lithuania is taking a stand against the potential harms of gambling, reflecting a broader trend towards greater accountability and oversight in the iGaming industry.

These changes, while challenging for operators, underscore the importance of prioritizing public welfare and responsible gambling practices. As the sector continues to evolve, such regulatory measures will play a pivotal role in shaping a more sustainable and ethically responsible gambling landscape.

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