Lithuania to Tighten Restrictions on Gambling Advertisements
Lithuanian lawmakers registered amendments to the gambling law in the parliament on Monday, February 12th. According to the document, the country is set to impose strict limitations on gambling advertisements in the public sphere starting from 2025, as reported LRT.
Approximately 50 deputies, mainly from the governing majority, supported the changes, which include a ban on disseminating information about sponsorship by gambling companies at any public events. The amendments also prohibit them from sponsoring any individuals or legal entities.
If the amendments to the gambling law are adopted, advertising by bookmakers and casinos will also be prohibited on television, in the press, news websites, and on outdoor billboards. Additionally, neither the names nor the logos of gambling operators will be allowed on athletes' shirts or at sports venues during events.
The amendments stipulate that gambling companies will only be able to advertise gambling within gambling establishments or on their websites, the addresses of which will be specified in accordance with the Regulations on Gambling. Gaming companies will also be allowed to advertise in publications aimed at professionals in the field and to display the name and brand of the gambling operator on the main office building or gambling establishment.
The initiator of the changes, Mindaugas Lingė from the ruling conservative party "Homeland Union," previously noted that the total revenue of gambling operators in Lithuania in 2021 amounted to 222 million euros, compared to 103 million euros in 2020. Meanwhile, advertising expenses in the gambling business increased from 6.36 million euros in 2020 to 12.73 million euros in 2023. The profit of gambling operators increased from 20 million euros in 2020 to over 53 million euros in 2022.
It is worth noting that Lithuania is not the only EU country where gambling advertisements and the gambling industry as a whole are being restricted. For example, the Belgian government decided to ban gambling advertisements on various platforms from July 1, 2023, in an effort to combat addiction and debt.
From January 1, 2025, Belgium will also introduce an additional ban on advertising in stadiums, and from January 1, 2028, gambling companies will no longer be able to sponsor professional sports clubs, such as football teams.
The government asserts that the ban was introduced following scientific research showing that advertising contributes to the development of gambling addiction and the accumulation of debts related to gambling.