March 7, 2024 3 min read


Lithuania Considers Stricter Gambling Regulations

The proposal follows a high-profile scandal, which saw a former partner at the BaltCap Infrastructure Fund embezzle and gamble away millions of euros

The Lithuanian Ministry of Finance is spearheading efforts to tighten regulations in the gambling sector, proposing amendments that would compel gambling companies to actively monitor individuals showing signs of gambling addiction or facing significant losses. Although the country faced difficulties tightening regulations in the past, its newfound political will should be sufficient to implement lasting changes.

The New Measures Enjoy Significant Support

Vilijos Petronienės, a senior advisor in the Lithuanian government’s Financial Markets Policy Department, outlined the proposed changes during a session of the Anticorruption Commission. The amendments aim to enforce responsible gambling measures and enhance deterrents against violations. Additionally, there are plans to expand the supervisory powers overseeing the gambling market.

Virginijus Daukšys, the head of the Gambling Supervision Service, expressed that the amendments would address long-standing issues. He pointed out that gambling operators possessed the means to prevent significant losses, referring to a recent case involving Šarūnas Stepukonis, a former partner at the BaltCap Infrastructure Fund, who lost millions in embezzled funds without triggering any problem gambling safeguards.

The gambling sector has enough tools to prevent such gambling, but these tools are not mandatory by law.

Virginijus Daukšys, Gambling Supervision Service head

The recent Anticorruption Commission meeting saw Petronienės discuss the upcoming regulatory changes. He confirmed that the amendments to the gambling law would be submitted for revision soon, emphasizing that the updated measures would significantly tighten control over the gambling sector, ensuring operators implement adequate player protection and anti-money-laundering measures.

Operator Accountability Will Be a Priority

The amendments, once approved by the government, are scheduled to be presented to the parliament in the spring session. Petronienės noted that the Gambling Supervision Service had previously issued guidelines on responsible gambling. However, these were not enforced, and gambling companies largely ignored them. Currently, it is up to Lithuanian gamblers to seek out safe gambling tools.

Arnoldas Dilba, a high-ranking Gambling Supervisory Service official, revealed that previous attempts to tighten preventive measures faced resistance from gambling organizers and lobbyists, leaving the regulator very limited in its ability to influence the market. The newly proposed amendments seek to make these preventive measures mandatory, establishing a more robust framework for responsible gambling in Lithuania.

While Lithuania’s newly found motivation to update its gambling legislation is commendable, it was the direct result of a high-profile embezzlement scandal that forced the government’s hand. Hopefully, the new measures will meet little resistance and enter into law, complementing initiatives like raising the minimum gambling age to foster a more comprehensive and forward-looking regulatory environment.

Deyan is an experienced writer, analyst, and seeker of forbidden lore. He has approximate knowledge about many things, which he is always willing to apply when researching and preparing his articles. With a degree in Copy-editing and Proofreading, Deyan is able to ensure that his work writing for GamblingNews is always up to scratch.

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