Lithuanian gambling industry can be called one of the old-timers in the post-Soviet space. Almost all gambling types have been legalized in the country for over than 18 years.
Baltic state gambling industry includes both land-based gambling institutions availability as well as online segment. Besides there are betting and lottery business operators in the state.
Totally, over 60 land-based gambling institutions and 10 poker rooms operate are located on the country’s territory. Most of the casinos are owned by Casino Olympic, a major gambling operator.
Large-scale legislative restrictions, aimed at the online segment regulation, entered into force in 2016.
The last year was famous by several large-scale events for the Lithuanian gambling industry. Their list includes both land-based casino owners and online operators work limitation; the check lottery implementation results summarizing; the online segment dominance in terms of both income and new players emergence in the Lithuanian market.
Limit and avoid mercying
The spring and summer of 2019 were not favorable to the Lithuanian gambling operators. The current statement is true for the land-based gambling institutions owners and for online operators as well.
Amendments to the current gambling legislation were adopted on June, 2019 and will enter into force in November. Their main goal was to protect minor users from the gambling’s harmful effects. The innovation goal is to restrict placing advertising on the websites, which main target audience is the citizens, being less than 18 years old. The content orientation will serve as the platforms selection criterion – advertising can’t be placed on a website, 80% of which content is focused on teenage or children’s interests.
The fines system will be changed due to the innovation as well. Now the penalty amount will be determined by the offense gravity, the unlawful actions duration and the damage extent.
Lithuanian parliamentarians decided to revise the gambling licenses granting and suspension rules on May, 2019. The deputies deemed it required to detail the grounds list for revoking a license or refusing from the permit provision. The license suspension grounds will be spelled out as well.
Besides the amendments imply the sanctions list and the gambling regulator competence expansion.
The age limit for visiting a casino will be set in Lithuania, according to the document text. Persons less than 21 years old will not be able visit gambling institutions.
Revenues: virtual segment benefit
Currently Lithuania has become one of the online segment predominance confirmation. It worth mentioning that we are not always talking about higher segment revenue – it is much more important to take into account the industry growth rate in the current situation.
Both Lithuanian gambling business segments noted financial performance improvement in the first half of 2019: online casinos – by €17.5 million, offline casinos – by €1.1 million.
The largest financial successes were noticed by betting operators despite the fact, that a generally positive trend was typical for the entire online gambling vertical.
Generally, Lithuanian players spent € 271.7 million for online gambling and € 233.9 million for ground-based gambling for the first half of 2019.
A new gambling company, known to customers by Optibet brand, will appear on Lithuanian market. The bookmaker has got the ambition to become a leader in the sports betting industry. Enlabs heads noted the user interest increase in sports betting, which is confirmed by the financial indicators, provided above in the article.
The company is expanding its influence in neighboring Estonia in addition to Lithuanian market’s ambitious plans.
The check lottery operation cut in Lithuania confirmed, that plans to reduce the economy’s shadow segment are being gradually implemented less than a year ago. Especially effective was its impact on the catering industry. The amount of € 2.4 million was raised while using the tool.
Lithuanian gambling market can be called quite mature in terms of both post-Soviet countries and European ones as well. Therefore, the gambling industry is quite stable. But there are several trends: online segment growth rate prevails over the offline industry, restrictions are introduced in order to increase the minors safety and don’t have devastating consequences for the market, the betting operators play an advanced role in filling the treasury. The segment started to involve new operators due to the increased Lithuanians’ interest in sports betting.