gaming operator Unibet has hit back at Lithuania’s Gaming Control Authority
after the regulator took the step of "naming and shaming" the
operator for serving the market without a local licence.
The Gaming Control
Authority of Lithuania singled out Unibet
this week, accusing the operator of systematically violating its gambling
regulations by operating without a licence.
said that Unibet was guilty of “malicious behaviour” which raises doubts
about the company’s commitment to regulated markets.
This prompted a robust
response from the operator. A spokesperson for Unibet said that Lithuania was
attempting to enforce rules on the basis of legislation that has not been
properly notified to the European Commission.
The company said that
as Lithuania has violated the EC-mandated standstill period by enacting its new
gambling law on January 1st, it does not consider that they be
enforced and believes that punitive action against the country by the European
Commission is more likely.
However, the Gaming Control
Authority argues that the Republic of Lithuania’s legal acts must be considered
valid and mandatory for all persons active in the country until they are
“Considering that the
Gaming Law of the Republic of Lithuania is in force, the companies which do not
have a license and permission issued by the Gaming Control Authority under the
Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania, entitling them to provide
online gambling services in Lithuania, are operating illegally,” the Authority’s
chief specialist of the division of legislation, staff and general affairs
Skirmante Paukstiene said.
offering online gambling are required to conform to current legislation and
shall refrain from this activity in the Republic of Lithuania,” Paukstiene
explained. “Considering this the companies presenting themselves as
responsible and transparent, including Unibet, shall suspend their activities
in Lithuania that infringe existing legislation.”
Shares in Unibet
Group plc. (Co. Data)
in Stockholm Wednesday up 0.54 per cent at SEK93.85 per share.