Lithuania bans all gambling advertising

Lithuania’s government has announced an outright ban on all forms of gambling advertising with effect…

Lithuania’s government has announced an outright ban on all forms of gambling advertising with effect from 1 July.

Approved by a vote in parliament (Seimas), the new amendment to the country’s Law on Gambling will prohibit the promotion of gambling in any form and by means, including not only television and radio but also special events, test games, promotions, discounts, gits and other incentives.

The government said that the blanket ban is designed to help tackle problem gambling in the country, as well as reduce the appeal of gambling and lower the amount people spend on gambling. 

The ban will apply to both the land-based and online gambling markets in Lithuania.

Though the ban will not come into effect until 1 July, it is already prohibited in Lithuania to encourage gambling by offering players gifts to gamble, or to organise gambling outside licensed venues or an approved operator’s website.

Operators were also already required to carry warnings about gambling-related harm in all of their adverts, as per a law that came into effect 1 July last year.  

The decision to prohibit all gambling advertising in Lithuania comes after a survey carried out by the country’s Gambling Supervisory Authority in November showed strong support for an outright ban.

Of the 1,001 adults surveyed, 76{a25bda0f8ab6dac90e68079d6f038584ef6ac53f1f4621de3ad526e35cd6c0d6} said gambling advertising should be reduced, while 52{a25bda0f8ab6dac90e68079d6f038584ef6ac53f1f4621de3ad526e35cd6c0d6} said it should be banned outright, compared to 22{a25bda0f8ab6dac90e68079d6f038584ef6ac53f1f4621de3ad526e35cd6c0d6} who said only lottery advertisements should be banned.

Just under half of respondents (47{a25bda0f8ab6dac90e68079d6f038584ef6ac53f1f4621de3ad526e35cd6c0d6}) noted they had seen gambling advertisements.

Last year, operators agreed to stop advertising gambling during the country’s first national lockdown in April for the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, following requests from the Lithuanian Gambling Business Association and National Gambling and Games Business Association.