Following its industry warning issued at the start of January 2016, Lithuania’s Gaming Control Authority (GCA) has begun to implement its strict internet controls, restricting national consumer access to unlicensed operators.
The GCA’s actions have been granted by the Lithuanian Parliament, who in January asked the body to draw up a blacklist of operators deemed to be targeting Lithuanian consumers illegally.
National news sources reported that European betting firms Betway, Unibet and William Hill had been placed on the blacklist.
The authority has forced Lithuanian internet service providers to block access to the operator’s websites.
Lithuania’s Parliament stated that it would continue its policy of only allowing operators with national land-based enterprises/partnerships the right to operate remote gambling services.
At present Losimu Strategine Grupe, which operates under the brand of TonyBet, Orakulas and Olympic Casino Group are the only operators allowed to operate online gambling services.
This week the GCA confirmed that it would step up its actions against unlicensed operators, with the launch advertising campaign which aims to raise public awareness of operators deemed unlicensed.
Advising Lithuania’s Parliament on future regulatory processes, the GCA stated that operators that continued to breach its laws and requirements would be declined hearings on potential licensing.
Following the implementation of restrictions, GCA officials have stated that they will allow foreign operators to apply for licensing in 2016, and have further stated that a number of companies have shown interest in operating in a licensed market.