Lithuania: The latest Member State to propose new online gambling regulations

Gambling Law No IX-325 currently regulates gambling in the Republic of Lithuania. However, it fails to take account of which entities are permitted to provide gambling services and through which means of communication. In a move to protect the incumbent local operators and remove any ambiguity as to the interpretation of the Gambling Law, the Lithuania government has submitted a draft law to the European Commission in accordance with Directive 98/34/EC.

The draft law provides that licences shall be available to both public and private limited companies established in Lithuania providing the share capital of any applicant is at least 4 million litas (circa. £1 million).  The draft law also sets out enforcement measures to be taken against illegal operators as well as software and technical requirements. Once the three month standstill period is over, the Gaming Control Authority must then approve the regulations before licences will become available.

It will be interesting to see how the Commission responds to the draft law given it  made an official request for information from Lithuania for having national legislation which restricts the supply of gambling services.

The draft law (in Lithuanian) can be accessed here.