Lithuanian gambling revenue up 90% in Q1
Gambling revenue in Lithuania hit €43.4m in the first quarter, with online revenue up despite a ban on marketing.
Lithuania.- Gambling revenue continues to grow in Lithuania, rising by 90 per cent year-on-year to €43.4m. Part of the rise can be explained by the return of land-based gaming after Covid-19 lockdowns, but online gaming revenue also rose.
Despite tight restrictions on gambling advertising, online gambling revenue was up 16.7 per cent year-on-year at €26.8m. Category A slots, which have no cap on stakes or payouts, generated €15.5m, an increase of 24.7 per cent year-on-year. Stakes were €210.4m.
Category B slots, which have a stake limit of €0.50 per spin and have a payout cap at 200 times the original stake, generated €683,313, up 57.9 per cent from Q1 in 2021. Table games generated €1.6m, up 25.5 per cent, from €19.4m in stakes. Betting stakes totalled €125.3m, generating revenue of €9m.
The land-based gaming sector generated revenue of €16.9m. Category A slots accounted for €3.1m from stakes of €12.4m, and category B machines €7.2m from stakes of €45.4m. Retail sports betting revenue was €2.7m from stakes of €25.9m and table game revenue €4m from stakes of €18m.
Revenue in the same quarter in 2021 was negligible due to the closure of venues amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The government collected €8.2m in lottery and gaming taxes in Q1, a rise from €4.2m in Q1 2021.
The rise in gambling revenue comes despite Lithuania’s prohibition of gambling marketing. The Gambling Supervisory Authority this week fined Top Sport €25,000 for violating the ban through claims made on its website last year.
An inspection by the Gambling Supervisory Authority found that Top Sport had made statements that encouraged players to gamble, with phrases such as “Bet whether Kaunas Žalgiris will triumph in the LKL championship and whether Žalgiris will advance to the Euroleague final four”, “With Top Sport you can place a wide range of sports bets”, “Choose one of more than 400 games and claim impressive winnings” and “Guess how far Vilnius Rytas will go in the FIBA Champions League and whether it will advance to the LKL final”.
The regulator said these statements breached Lithuania’s ban on gambling promotion, which prohibits inducements to gamble. The rule prohibits offering bonuses and publishing adverts and – it now seems – anything that can be considered marketing language. Top Sport has the right to appeal against the fine.
The Gambling Supervisory Authority fined Lošimų Strateginė Grupė and UAB Olympic Casino Group Baltija the same amount in March for publishing details of a poker tournament on their websites.
In January, it fined UAB Nordic’s Optibet brand for sending out a newsletter updating 10,600 customers about a change in terms and conditions. The regulator formed the opinion that the email constituted gambling promotion.
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