The Lithuanian Gambling Supervisory Authority fined website Krepšinis.net for breaking the country's advertising laws. The digital media service was placing gambling ads on basketball-related news. These ads included slogans as well as animated backgrounds alongside bonus offers and promotions. All these things are illegal under the latest Lithuanian gambling advertising regulations. Krepšinis.net is registered outside Lithuania, which was problematic for the authorities. Still, the Vilnius City District Court confirmed the Regulator's authority to sanction the illegal advertising activities.
Krepšinis.net is a news and information website focused on sports. The website is in Lithuanian and targets Lithuanian audiences. Yet, the business operates outside Lithuania, which made things difficult for sanctioning its activities.
According to the Lithuanian Gambling Supervisory Authority, the website represented a refuge for illegal gambling advertising for years. However, enforcing the laws and regulations upon it was challenging due to its being registered elsewhere. The Regulator took the case to the Vilnius City District Court. The Court established that the site did target Lithuanian consumers and advertised gambling in a way that breached the laws. So, the Court concluded that the Regulator should have the authority to sanction such illegal activities.
The Lithuanian Regulator expressed satisfaction with the decision. It explained that Krepšinis.net put other Lithuanian businesses in an unequal position with its illegal advertising. Moreover, the Regulator claimed that the portal's activities encouraged Lithuanians to gamble in an illegal way.
A thorough investigation led by the Lithuanian Authority concluded that UAB All Media Digital broke the rules. This business provided advertising services to its clients and operated the Krepšinis.net website. Based on its discoveries and conclusions, the Regulator fined the company with €1,500. The fine targeted the employee in charge of placing ads on the website.
In the past few months, the Lithuanian gambling regulator has been actively prosecuting and sanctioning irregular activities. Operator UAB Tete-a-Tete Casino, which is also the owner of Cbet, was hit with a €15,000 or about $17,908 fine. The company was imposing unreasonable limits on an online betting customer. These limitations affected both the size of bets placed and winnings, and the authority discovered no relevant reasons for them.
In November 2020, Cbet was in a similar situation as Krepšinis.net. One of its employees was hit with a €1,500 penalty for breaking gambling advertising rules.
Lithuania updated its gambling advertising laws and regulations in November 2019. The Regulator allowed brands to show trademarks, names, and types of games offered. Any other visual, audio, or written content was banned.
Moreover, in July 2020, these regulations were further expanded with a bill amendment. This change required that gambling ads must include warnings about possible gambling-related harms. The bill was passed at its first reading without any objections.
Lithuania's Gambling Supervisory Authority said that all changes aim to protect vulnerable customers. The Regulator revealed that 510 Lithuanian players signed up for the Lithuanian national self-exclusion program in December 2019 alone. Since this figure was higher than the scheme's annual average ever since 2007, the need for extra measures became evident.
Online gambling in Lithuania is legal for customers older than 21. All operators that target Lithuanian players must hold the approval from the national licensing body. Still, many offshore gambling sites ignore these laws and accept players from the country.