New government looks set to introduce strict rules on gambling promotion
Estonia.- It looks like Estonia will follow nearby Lithuania in introducing a strict ban on gambling advertising of all kinds. Local media reports that the new coalition government formed by the Reform Party, Social Democrats and Eesti 200 is minded to at least limit gambling ads
Kaja Kallas will remain prime minister of the Baltic nation and has pledged to strengthen security against Russia. But interior minister Lauri Läänemets (SDE) is known to be in favour of introducing a blanket ban on gambling ads, as well as a ban on payday loans.
He told the state broadcaster EER that advertising rules were too lenient and that he believed restrictions were needed to tackle problem gambling. The new coalition also says it aims to strengthen gambling addiction counselling.
“People with gambling addiction can often not break the cycle. This breaks up families,” Läänemets said. He recognised that an outright ban risks conflict with sports bodies and clubs, for example, Tallinn’s Saku Hall is named the Unibet Arena through a deal with the Kindred brand.
Tõnis Rüütel, director of the Estonian Gaming Operator Association (EHKL), said Estonian gambling operators were prepared to work with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications to modernise advertising laws. He said that there were plans for meetings with Kristi Talvingo, director of the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority which regulates the sector.
Over in Lithuania, the Gambling Supervisory Authority has been issuing regular fines for breaches of the country’s strict ban on gambling advertising, which was introduced in 2021. Most recently, it fined Top Sport €25,000 for sending an email to customers that included details and links for its mobile apps and website.