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Lithuanian igaming revenue rockets to drive market’s recovery in 2021

| By Marese O'Hagan
Regulated gambling across all verticals in Lithuania saw gross gaming revenue (GGR) jump 31.5% year-on-year in 2021, as the industry recovered from the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Revenue from all channels totalled €136.2m (114.7m/$155.8m), with growth in igaming outpacing retail’s decline.

As a result of the country’s retail betting closures, land-based revenue fell by 22.5% to €34.0m, with customer spend also declining year-on-year by 24.2% to €218.5m.

Gaming with category B slot machines, which limit stakes to €0.50 per spin and have win amounts capped at 200 times the original stake, brought in the most revenue for the land-based market, at €14.8m, down 27.1% from 2020. Table games came second with €8.1m, a fall of 20.5%.

Category A slot machines, with uncapped payouts and stakes, followed in third on €7.0m, though this was again down year-on-year, falling 9.8%. Retail betting revenue, meanwhile, came to €4.8m, a decrease of 28.6%.

The land-based decline was mitigated by a strong online performance. Online revenue rocketed by 71.5% to €102.1m. Igaming customer spend also grew, rising from €1.02bn to €1.63bn year-on-year.

The standout product was category A slot machines, which had revenue of €59.6m, almost double 2020’s total.

Online betting revenue followed in second, on €34.2m, a rise of 29.4%. Online table games saw a 205.7% rise in revenue to €5.8m while category B slot machines made €2.4m, up 94.8%.

Lithuania saw a number of regulatory changes occur in 2021. In May it banned the promotion and offering of bonuses in an attempt to address problem gambling. This came into force from July.

Enlabs subsidiary UAB Baltic Bet was found to have violated this in October, but did not receive a fine. But last month Lithuania’s Gambling Supervisory Authority fined UAB Baltic €11,183 for sending a terms and conditions email to customers that, according to the regulator, encouraged customers to gamble.

In September Lithuania’s legislature approved a bill that amended the country’s gambling act to include online-only licences.

In October a new bill was introduced that would tax land based slots and table games on the basis of GGR.

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