The Lithuanian parliament has passed a bill that will require all gambling ads to include warnings regarding gambling-related issues. The law will be effective from July 1, 2020.
This new legislation gives the Lithuanian Gaming Control Authority the responsibility for determining what content will contain the warning, as well as requires them to set standards for how this determination will be made.
“Gambling is not an evil in itself, but as the sector develops, it is important to be able to control the risks involved and minimize the negative consequences,” Mykolas Majauskas, one of the sponsors of the bill, 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,” Mykolas Majauskas added.
According to the bill, the Gambling Authority will create a clear set of rules and make notes of what is working and where improvements are needed in the current legislation. The bill is a safeguard but legislators did not want it to snuff out the booming gambling industry in the country.
“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,” Majauskas said.
The legislation helps Lithuania to meet the same standards as many of the other countries in the European Union. While many are drawing huge revenues from the taxation from gambling, there is an ever-growing concern about the impact this industry is having in feeding gambling addictions and causing many to suffer economic hardship because of their addiction.
“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. One of the basic tools for solving problems is public education, education through social advertising,” Majauskas said.