Lithuania's FinMin proposes amendments to tighten gambling business

  • 2024-03-08
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuania's Finance Ministry has proposed a series of measures to prevent irresponsible gambling, strengthen the protection of problem gamblers and increase transparency in the sector. It is also proposing million euro fines for gambling operators for irregularities. 

Finance Minister Gintare Skaiste says the reluctance of gambling companies to comply with responsible gambling guidelines has forced the ministry to proposer stricter regulation of this sector, as well as to make gambling less the accessible and appealing.

"Fines for non-compliant companies will be substantially increased, reaching up to several million euros. All this will allow for more effective control mechanisms and greater transparency in the sector," the minister was quoted as saying in a statement.

The ministry is proposing fines amounting to 5 percent of gross annual revenue for non-compliance with the requirements on the protection of gamblers, responsible gambling, permitted advertising and other requirements, and 10-percent fines are proposed for repeated infringements. 

The existing fines range from 6,000 to 25,000 euros for the first offense and double of that repeated offenses.

39 fines have been imposed on gambling companies since 2020, amounting to 660,000 euros.

The amendments requiring gambling companies to monitor people who are addicted to gambling or who lose large sums of money were drafted by the Finance Ministry in response to the case of Sarunas Stepukonis, a former partner at BaltCap Infrastructure Fund, who embezzled and gambled away around 40 million euros from several companies owned by the fund.