Top Sport, one of the biggest betting and gambling operators in Lithuania, has been fined by the Lithuanian gambling authority for violating the promotion ban introduced in 2021. This is not the first time that the Lithuanian institution had to punish operators for disobeying the new rules regarding gambling advertisements and promotions. Another operator that faces fines for promoting gambling is Amber Gaming and is set to pay €6.7K in fines for content published on the 7Bet website in November 2021.
Crime and Punishment – Top Sport to Pay €25,000
According to announcement, the gambling operator will be forced to pay a sum of €25,000 for breaking the rules that the Lithuanian Gaming Control Authority under the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania introduced in the summer of last year. The ban refers to the amendments to the Gaming Law of the Republic of Lithuania which limit the operators’ use of advertisements to promote gambling activity in the country.
According to the gambling authority institution, the decision to prohibit the promotion of participation in gambling – including free games, promotional campaigns, discounts, free gifts, free spins, and any other form of special events through which gambling activity is promoted comes from the institution’s effort to protect players. Note that the restriction does not entail a complete ban of all advertisements – it just refers to marketing focusing on increasing gambling participation.
Besides Top Sport, the institution fined Amber Gaming, a reputable brand that is behind the 7Bet casino. The operator seemingly struggled to conform with the new rules, and reportedly broke them twice – in November of 2021, and this February.
According to the press release, Amber Gaming’s brand had published content that contained promotional material strictly banned via the 2021 ban, which is why the Gaming Control Authority decided to fine the company. The fine is €6,789, which is significantly lower than the sum Top Sport is set to pay.
Top Casino Offering
The ban may affect how the Lithuanian online casinos handle promotions, but it does not limit their offer in any way. Players in Lithuania – and the other two Baltic states – still get to enjoy in the best online casino content that exists online. As a reminder, Estonia and Latvia legalized online gambling in 2010, while Lithuania joined its Baltic neighbours in 2016. Since 2016, all the best online casino sites are free to join the growing Lithuanian gambling market by applying for a gambling licence at the Gaming Control Authority under the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania.
So far, a number of top-rated online casino sites have applied and received the work permit from the authority institution. Amber Gaming, the company that owns 7Bet casino, is an international brand that is present in a number of European markets. The same is with Top Sport – a massive casino offering some of the best online casino games, including slots, table games, and live dealer tables.
In fact, live dealer games are reaching new levels of popularity in Lithuania, as Top Sport and 7Bet offer games from some of the biggest providers such as Pragmatic Play, Ezugi, and Evolution. Furthermore, Ezugi seems to be a fan-favourite, with Live Baltic Roulette coming up as a special treat for all players hailing from the three Baltic states.
These casinos cater to thousands of players who, regardless of the fines issued by the gambling authority, still put their faith in these venues, and will probably continue doing so in the future.
Growth Despite Bans
It seems that the ban on promotional tools did little to restrict gambling activity in Lithuania. If anything, it helped increase it – as the Lithuanian gambling market registered an increase of nearly double the revenue from last year. More precisely, the Lithuanian online casino revenue is up 90% from 2021, which is an incredible feat considering that the country placed a tight lid on all gambling promotions countrywide.
The news of the Lithuanian gambling revenue increase is not a surprise for most experts, considering that the latest studies suggest that the global gambling market is set to grow in the next 5 years.
It seems that the ban of gambling participation promotion has not lowered gambling participation, but we hope that it did what it originally intended to do – lessen the risks of problem gambling that is growing in Lithuania. By spreading responsible gaming practices across the country, the Gaming Control Authority hopes to help players who are at risk of becoming problematic gamblers.