Lithuania introduces warnings on all gambling ads

Lithuania has revealed a new legislation which will require all gambling advertisements to display warnings regarding gambling-related harm after a new bill was passed by the Vilnius Seimas (parliament).

The legislation, which will see the warnings become mandatory from 1 July 2020, gained an overwhelming majority during its first reading. The Seimas ruled that the country’s Gaming Control Authority will hold responsibility for determining what content will be included in the warning.

“Gambling is not an evil in itself, but as the sector develops, it is important to be able to control the risks involved and minimise the negative consequences,” Mykolas Majauskas, the bill’s proposer, said.

“There is no need to jam poles into the spokes of the gaming market’s wheels in a way that would pull it off the road, but at least you need to attach reflectors.”

“By law, we would oblige the Gambling Authority to set clear rules and to make notes that would change every time,” Majauskas added. “And we also expect a responsible and sensible approach to how these rules should be applied. That is, they would not apply, for example, to gambling branding on basketball players’ uniforms.”

By implementing the bill, Majauskas explained that Lithuania would be able to replicate the systems in place across a number of other EU countries.

“Other countries in the European Union have very similar problems, they say: first, we need to educate; secondly, we must help those who have problems; third, we need to help people who have loved ones who have gambling problems,” he explained. “One of the basic tools for solving problems is public education, education through social advertising.”

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