In Lithuania and parliamentarians have reportedly voted in favor of legislation that is set to alter the small Baltic’s nation’s laws on gambling to forbid all iGaming operators from promoting or advertising their wares.
According to a report from Gambling Insider, the Thursday move by a margin of 105 to 39 is set to implement the controversial prohibition from the first day of July to prohibit local online casino and sportsbetting firms from creating promotional campaigns, distributing any type of gift or offering discounts and promotions. The source detailed that the new coalition government of Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte believes that the coming ban will help the nation of around 2.8 million people to more effectively combat problem gambling.
The decision to forbid the advertising of all iGaming activities reportedly comes after Lithuania’s Gambling Supervisory Authority regulator conducted a national poll that revealed a large amount of support for just such a move. This November examination purportedly found that 52% of the 1,001 people surveyed were in favor of an outright ban while 76% believed that there was already too much promotion of gambling.
Aurelijus Veryga from the opposition Farmers and Greens Union political party reportedly disclosed that 22% of the people surveyed last year had moreover been supportive of a prohibition on the marketing of lotteries. In backing yesterday’s vote, the parliamentarian purportedly declared that iGaming ‘is a type of activity that costs too much for some people in terms of health and not just money.’
Before yesterday’s ballot and Virginijus Dauksys, Director for the Gambling Supervisory Authority, reportedly divulged that the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic had severely hurt the local gaming industry. He purportedly furthermore explained that the watchdog had received numerous complaints from members of the public regarding providers that had not honored a pledge to abstain from advertising their services during lockdown.
Gambling Insider reported that iGaming operators across Lithuania were last month advised to stop promoting their wares for the duration of the nation’s coronavirus-related quarantine. However, the source asserted that a large number of firms had subsequently ignored this recommendation with a few even opting to increase their advertising activities.
In responding to the new legislation, Mantas Zakarka from the country’s National Gambling and Gaming Business Association reportedly warned that an advertising ban could hurt the industry and deter new operators from entering the local iGaming market. Italy purportedly implemented a similar prohibition from the first day of 2019 but the nation’s iGaming industry has since soared to place doubt on the effectiveness of such advertising prohibitions.