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Lithuania regulator clarifies warning requirements for sponsors

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Lithuania has clarified the rules around its requirement for a warning in gambling advertisements, and how these rules apply to sponsorships.

In February 2020, the country’s legisature, the Seimas, passed a law that introduced mandatory warnings about gambling-related harm on all gambling advertisements from 1 July that year. The bill was passed by consensus after no objections were raised at its first reading.

The country’s Gambling Supervision Service initially determined that the law did not apply to sponsorships. However this week, a year after the first law was passed, the Seimas passed another law clarifying that certain sponsorships that resemble traditional advertising will be covered.

The Supervision Service has now outlined the exact cases when a sponsorship does and does not require a warning.

It said that warnings are not required where an advertisement is worn on the clothing of a sponsored person or team, nor is it required at an event where the person or team is participating. It is also not required if the name of an event or team is sponsored.

However, the warning is necessary if a message does not refer to a specific event in which a sponsored person or team partakes and the time and place at which the event occurs. It must also exist if the sponsorship message contains more than the brand name and trademarks, particularly if the message includes a mention of the types of gambling services offered.

The regulator also ruled that these deals can only be referred to as “sponsorships”, and not “partnerships” or similar language.

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