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Lithuania regulator warns Top Sport over sponsorship of World Cup prediction game

| By Robert Fletcher
Lithuania’s Gambling Supervisory Authority has issued a warning to Top Sport UAB after ruling that its sponsorship of a prediction game for the ongoing 2022 Fifa World Cup was in breach of regulations.
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The Topikas.lt website challenges players to predict the outcome of matches at the World Cup, which kicked off last week in Qatar and runs until 18 December.

During its investigation, the Authority established that Top Sport, a licensed operator in the country, was the main sponsor of Topikas, while the game itself had several similarities with betting offered by Top Sport.

Specifically, the regulator highlighted how the Top Sport brand was featured in areas across the Topikas.lt website, with consumers able to click on certain banners that linked directly to Top Sport’s own site.

All forms of gambling advertising are prohibited in Lithuania, in line with laws that came into effect in July last year.

The Authority also said the points players could earn by predicting results corresponded to similar information that was published on Top Sport’s website in relation to betting on the same matches.

As such, the Authority ruled the game and Top Sport’s sponsorship were in breach of article 10, paragraph 19 of the Law on Gambling of the Republic of Lithuania, which relates to encouraging people to participate in gambling.

“It should be noted that publishing information about an organised game in any form that may encourage participation in gambling is prohibited,” the Authority said. 

“Therefore, we recommend media representatives and all entities promoting the game – until the game organisers have corrected the deficiencies – to not advertise such games or to stop advertising the game and remove all information related to it from their available means of information dissemination.”

The warning came after the Authority this week also issued another fine to UAB Olympic Casino Group Baltija following a further breach of advertising laws in the country.

The Authority fined Olympic Casino €25,000 after it found that the operator featured information on its website about how customers could watch live sports events on Setanta Sports, but also encouraged users to bet on sports.

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