Fines have been issued against Olympic Casino Group Baltija, Tete-a-Tete Casino and UAB Baltic Bet.
Lithuania.- The fines continue to mount up for operators that fall foul of Lithuania’s restrictions on gambling promotion. After a raft of fines in recent months, the Lithuanian Gambling Supervisory Authority has announced new penalties against Olympic Casino Group Baltija, Tete-a-Tete Casino and UAB Baltic Bet.
Each operator has been issued with a €25,000 fine for breaching Article 10 (19) of Lithuania’s gambling regulations (ALI), which prohibit operators from “encouraging participation in gambling”. The new rules came into effect in the middle of last year and have led to penalties for several operators amid confusion over what is and isn’t allowed.
In the case of Olympic Casino Group Baltija, the Lithuanian Gambling Supervisory Authority said that its OlyBet.lt website included several “promotional slogans” encouraging consumers to play. The offending phrases included “specially selected casino games; play” and “Hunt for a win in the Bonus Game! HIT BIG.”
The operator has already been fined once for breaching the rules on gambling promotions. Last time, the problem was a poker contest where it was fined alongside Lošimų Strateginė Grupė and UAB Olympic Casino Group Baltija €25,000 for publishing details of a poker tournament.
In the case of Tete-a-Tete Casino, the promotional phrases on CBet.lt that caused the problems included “Highest odds! 0% betting margin for you” and “5 stars Live Casino”.
UAB Baltic Bet was fined for the following slogans on its Optibet.lt website: “Would you like to try these new, exciting games? Enter!” and “Enjoy the Las Vegas casino experience at Optibet”. The Optibet brand was previously fined for emailing customers about a change in terms and conditions.
In all three cases, the operators have been given until June 27 to remove the offending texts or risk the suspension of their licences. Olympic Casino Group Baltija and Tete-a-Tete Casino have their licences up for renewal this year.
Previous fines from the Lithuanian gambling regulator
All three of the operators above have been fined by the Gambling Supervisory Authority on previous occasions as the regulator imposes new restrictions. And just a week ago, Unigames and Betsson’s Betsafe were fined for breaching Lithuania’s rules. Other recent cases include Amber Gaming and Top Sport.
Despite the new restrictions on promotion, Lithuanian gambling revenue continues to grow, rising by 90 per cent year-on-year to €43.4m in the first quarter of 2022. Part of the rise can be explained by the return of land-based gaming after Covid-19 lockdowns, but online gaming revenue also rose, up 16.7 per cent year-on-year to €26.8m.