• 2010-03-17
  • By Arturas Gutauskas, Associate Lawyer

ECOVIS Miškinis, Kvainauskas ir partneriai advokatų kontora

The draft of a new Lithuanian Gambling Act is under consideration by the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania. The main purposes of the new draft are:

•    to solve the problem of minimizing the negative consequences caused by gambling,
•    to clearly and precisely entrench a legal basis for State Control on gambling in Lithuania,
•    to clarify the circumstances of performance and order of gambling,
•    to regulate more precisely the activities and relations of gambling,
•    to reorganize the State Control Commission and to clarify its competence,
•    to amend the current Gambling Act by imposing justifiable and proportionate limits on provision of gambling services and
•    to settle the questions of organization and performance of online gambling.

The new draft specifies the list of the principles of the State policy on gambling: to limit the accessibility of gambling, prevent the performance of gambling activity for illegal purposes, minimize abuse and harm of gambling, limit the advertising of gambling, increase public privity on gambling issues and other. It also lists permissible gambling activities and types of gambling in the territory of the Republic of Lithuania (if some type of gambling does not suit all of the indications of the definition or suits the indications of several different definitions provided by Law, then Control Commission has the right to assign such type of gambling to the particular definition provided by Law).

According to the new draft, gambling activity shall be engaged in and gambling shall be organized only by public limited liability companies or private limited liability companies which have obtained a license and permit to carry out gambling activity. Such companies shall be incorporated in accordance with the procedure established by the Company Law of the Republic of Lithuania, or shall be incorporated in a Member State of the EU and its residence office shall be within the Member State of the EU. Licence holder can apply for these types of permits to carry out gambling activity: permit to open gaming establishment (casino), permit to open category A gaming machine hall, permit to open category B gaming machine hall, permit to open bingo hall, permit to open betting station, permit to open totalizator station and permit to carry out gambling activities through communications.

Chief officers of general education schools, pre-school establishments, children’s further and non-formal education establishments, health care establishments, state and municipal institutions and agencies will be obliged to ensure the installation and operation of technical blocking means, which would be used to block gambling accessible in the above mentioned institutions through public communications. 

One of the main reasons for creating a new draft of the Lithuanian Gambling Act is that the current act does not regulate the recently widely spread gambling on the internet. The new act provides possibility to block organization of gambling operations in the Republic of Lithuania by using technical means, if illegal gambling operator uses communications to organize gambling. Providers of communication services should ensure installation and maintenance of technical blocking means, which would be used to block gambling in the Republic of Lithuania organized by illegal gambling operator through communications. Installation and maintenance of technical blocking means should be financed by the Government.