Lithuania expects to add to online gaming blacklist

Lithuania expects to add to online gaming blacklist

Wednesday, January 27, 2016 Totally Gaming
Betsson, Betway, Unibet and William Hill have been outlawed in the first month after new laws were introduced

Lithuania’s gaming regulator has told TotallyGaming.com that it expects more companies to soon join Betway, Unibet and William Hill as blacklisted operators.

The three European gambling giants have joined Betsson’s Triobet subsidiary in falling foul of new online gaming laws in the Baltic state, which launched its new licensed regime on January 1.

Sport Top, TonyBet and Orakulas are so far the only companies to have been issued an online gambling licence, with the Lithuanian Gambling Control Authority (LGCA) issuing orders to internet service providers to block access to blacklisted operators’ websites from inside the country.

While Skirmante Paukstiene, chief specialist at the LGCA’s division of legislation, staff and general affairs, told TotallyGaming.com that more companies are set to be added to the list, he added that any outlawed sites would be welcomed back in Lithuania, provided they acquire the correct licence.

“After investigations it was established that the companies were offering online gambling to Lithuanian customers despite not being properly licensed," Paukstiene said. “Further investigations are in process now and there will be more companies sanctioned for illegal online gambling activity shortly.

“It should be noted, that if these companies receive the appropriate licence and permission, issued by the LGCA, they will be able to offer their services and be deleted from the list.”

The laws introduced earlier this month regulated online gambling in the country for the first time and require that any web-based operator must also have a branch office and open a certain number of real-life gambling establishments in Lithuania.

While the LGCA does not yet have figures relating to participation, Paukstiene added that the organisation considers the new sector’s first month as a success.

“The results so far are to be welcomed,” he said. “Of course different groups of society are treating the new regulations differently, however this is the way to protect customers from unlicensed services and open the market for new legal online services.”

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