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Lithuania court overturns decision to fine Cbet over regulatory breach

| By Robert Fletcher
Lithuania’s Vilnius Regional Administrative Court has overturned a decision by the country’s Gaming Control Authority to fine UAB Tete-a-Tete Casino, owner of the Cbet brand, for setting betting limits on an online customer.
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In its original ruling in March, the Authority said Cbet had unreasonably limited the amount of bets placed and winnings received by the player, adding that its inspection did not reveal any objective reasons for the decision to limit the player’s bets.

The Authority issued a fine of €15,000 (£12,680/$17,411) to Cbet as a result of its ruling.

Cbet appealed against the decision, with the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court agreeing with the operator’s argument that an operator’s right to limit the wagering amounts to a player should not be linked exclusively to the violation of regulations or other legal acts committed by the customer.

The court also agreed with Cbet’s statement that both the risk factors and the mechanism of their identification are a “trade secret” of the company organising gambling and cannot be enshrined in the operator’s regulations or internal legislation. 

In addition, the court said such an obligation is not provided for in the law on fambling or other legal acts for gambling operators to have approved risk assessment methodologies.

However, responding to the ruling, Gaming Control Authority director Virginijus Daukšys said the decision could allow operators to offer gambling under their own rules, rather than Lithuanian law.

“According to the court decision, gambling operators are given the opportunity to impose any kind of restrictions on gamblers and not to disclose the reasons for the decisions made by the entrepreneur, basing their decisions on the protection of trade secrets,” Daukšys said.

“These circumstances would complicate the enforcement of the protection of gamblers’ rights, may create opportunities for abuse by gambling organisers and allow gambling organisers to carry out their activities only in accordance with the rules known to them.”

The court decision is not final and can be appealed to the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania.

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