Lithuanian parliament approves new online-only gambling licences

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Lithuania’s legislature - the Seimas - has approved at first reading a number of amendments to the country’s gambling act, including the creation of online-only licences.

Currently, remote gambling permits are only available to operators that are also licensed to offer land-based gaming, though online-only operators could partner with retail licensees.

However, with the change, a specific online licence would be introduced, and will be available without any kind of tethering requirement.

Online gambling operators must have at least €1.2m in capital to apply for a licence for casino games, or €289,000 for online sports betting and €144,000 for online racing betting.

In addition, the new law also requires municipal councils to approve the building of slot halls, bingo halls and betting shops.

The law also introduces a new fee for all types of gambling licences. All licensees must pay €1m upon receipt of a licence, plus an additional payment depending on licence type. For slots this is €300,000, for bingo and betting €100,000 and for remote gambling €500,000.

Seimas member Mykolas Majauskas – who wrote the amendments – said the changes should bring in €8m annually. He said that these extra funds can be spent on addiction prevention.

A total of 74 members of the Seimas voted in favour of the amendments, while seven voted against and 39 abstained.

The legislature must approve the amendments again in a second reading for them to become law.

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