BDAR
gdpr

Gambling

1. Can a natural person, carrying out an individual activity, enter into an agreement (contract) with another natural person (a gambler) to carry out a joint gambling activity (playing poker remotely), whereby the natural person finances the gambler playing poker remotely, and where the winnings are shared between the parties in the proportions set out in the contract?

 

The Gaming Law of the Republic of Lithuania doesn’t provide for a possibility for a natural person to gamble on behalf of or for the benefit of other persons on the basis of any agreement (including a financing agreement), since Part 1 of the Article 20-2 provides that A natural person wishing to participate in remote gaming must, before participating in it, enter into a remote gaming contract with the gaming operator in accordance with a form approved by the Control Authority, while Paragraph 2 of that Article provides that Remote gaming contracts may be concluded only with natural persons. A natural person may not conclude a remote gaming contract through a representative. Before concluding a remote gaming contract, the gaming operator must request that a natural person wishing to enter into a remote gaming contract provide the data necessary to establish his identity and verify that he meets the requirements set out in paragraphs 3 and 10 of Article 10 of this Law and that this Law and other laws do not prohibit his participation in gaming. It is also to be taken into account that Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as the AML Law) does not provide for the possibility for a person to participate in remote gaming through an intermediary on the basis of a financing agreement or joint activity agreement, otherwise it would not be possible for the gaming company to carry out the continuous monitoring of business relations with gamblers established by the AML Law. A natural person performing an individual activity may not conclude with another natural person such an agreement which would be in essence contrary to mandatory legal norms, i.e. would violate requirements established in the Part 2 of the Article 20-2 of the Gaming Law of the Republic of Lithuania and of the Parts 1 and 9  of the Article 9 of the AML Law.

Updated: 21-12-2021

 

2. Will the gambling companies, with the amendments to Part 9 of the Article 9 of the Law on Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing of the Republic of Lithuania (AML Law),  entering in force on 10 January 2020, be additionally obliged to identify (unless the identity of the customer and the beneficiary has already been established) and verify the customer's identity and register the customer by making a deposit, at the time of payment of the winning or when exchanging cash for tokens or tokens for cash if the amount of money exceeds EUR 1 000 or its equivalent in another currency, no matter whether the transaction is carried out in a single transaction or in a series of related transactions, also to verify the identity of the customer entering the gambling establishment (casino) and to register him?

Companies organizing gambling in gambling establishments (casinos) will not infringe the requirements of Part 9 of the Article 9 of the AML Law if they identify and verify the identity of the customer at the beginning of the business relationship in accordance with the procedures laid down in the AML Law (requiring to submit the original identity documents), but on subsequent visits or when the monetary transactions reach EUR 1 000, they will check the identity of the customer against the customer's data (copies of ID documents and a photograph) stored in their system. In accordance with Part 17 of the Article 9 of the AML Law, with a view to ensuring that the documents, data or information submitted by the customer and the beneficial owner during due diligence are appropriate and relevant, they must be regularly reviewed and kept up-to-date by financial institutions and other obliged entities. Where the grounds for Enhanced customer due diligence (Article 14 of the AML Law) arise, gambling companies are obliged to apply additional measures of identification of the customer and of the beneficial owner and, in accordance with Part 3.4 and Part 5.3 of the Article 14 of the AML, to perform enhanced ongoing monitoring of the business relationships with politically exposed natural persons and natural persons residing in high-risk third countries.

Updated: 21-12-2021

 

3. Can the word "PRESENTS" be used when publishing sponsorship information?

Article 2 Part 54 of the Law on Public Information of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as the LPI) defines the definition of "Sponsorship". Thus, Sponsorship means the assistance provided by a person who is not involved in the broadcasting of a radio programme and/or in the provision of audiovisual media services and/or in the production of audiovisual or sound works, to finance audiovisual media services and/or programmes, radio programmes, video sharing platform services and/or programmes or user-generated videos, in order to disseminate information about his/her name, brand, image, activity, goods or services. Pursuant to Article 40 of the LPI (Sponsorship of audiovisual media services, radio programmes and/or individual programmes) Part 1 (Audiovisual media services, radio programmes and/or individual programmes to be sponsored must comply with the following requirements) Point 3, users must be clearly informed of the existence of a sponsorship agreement. The sponsor's name, logo and/or other mark, such as a reference to its product(s) or service(s), or its distinctive branding, must be used at the beginning, during and/or at the end of the programme in an appropriate manner to make it clear that the programme is being sponsored. As the concept of Sponsor is clearly defined in the LPI, an the Article 40 part 1 Point 3 of the LPI clearly specifies how a person seeking to disseminate information about its name, trademark, image, activities or goods and services, should be called. Therefore the word "PRESENTS" (this definition is not provided for in the LPU) is prohibited when publishing information on sponsorship, and only the following words may be used: "SPONSOR" or "SPONSORED BY".

Updated: 21.12.2021

 

4. Can sponsorship information be displayed on the hot air balloon? Can the brand name of a gambling company as a sponsor be displayed on a hot air balloon without the need for a warning notice? Can gambling ad be displayed on a hot air balloon with a warning notice?

The content of the warning notice and the rules for its presentation in advertising shall be determined by the Control Authority (Part 92 of the Article 10 of the Gaming Law of the Republic of Lithuania). Point 7 of the Procedure For The Display Of Warning Notice In Gambling Advertising (hereinafter referred to as - the Procedure) provides that the warning notice in printed advertisements must have a white background, a black frame and be at least as large as the sizes given in the table; point 8 of the Procedure provides that, if the format of the advertisement is larger than the size given in the table, the distance of the fixing of the advertisement from the nearest place where it is to be seen must be taken into consideration when determining the size of the notice in points. The size of the warning notice must be such that it is legible without the use of additional means of zooming in; point 11.3 states that the warning notice must be continuous (presented in one place) and clearly legible. In view of the above requirements for the warning notice in gambling advertising, to ensure properly these specified requirements for both the size and legibility of the warning notice (taking into account the shape of the hot air balloon and the constant dynamics of the balloon), when the trademark and the warning notice are not placed on a flat but on a convex surface, is very difficult, if not impossible, since the entire warning notice must be immediately visible when the trademark is visible, whereas only part of the trademark and part of the warning notice are visible when the balloon is viewed from the side. Therefore, a gambling advertisement on a hot air balloon with a warning notice, where only part of the warning notice is visible, cannot be published, as such an ad does not comply with the requirements laid down in Part 92 of the Article 10 of the Gaming Law and in points 7, 8 and 11.3 of the Procedure. Both the advertised trademark and the warning notice adjacent to the trademark must be visible in their entirety and clearly legible from any angle, but the specific shape of the hot air balloon makes it difficult or impossible to comply with such requirements. When displaying the gambling operator's trademark as a sponsor on a hot air balloon, the information that the gambling operator is a sponsor of a specific competition or event must be displayed alongside the gambling operator's trademark, otherwise, i.e. if the flying balloon does not indicate which competition or event is sponsored by the gambling operator, it would be completely unclear what is sponsored by the gambling operator (which sponsorship agreement is being referred to), which would be considered as a prohibited advertisement for gambling. Given the specific shape of the hot air balloon, it is difficult, if not impossible, to display sponsorship information or a warning notice on the balloon in such a way that it is fully visible. Therefore is recommended that gambling advertising and sponsorship information should not be displayed on convex surfaces of this shape.

Updated: 21.12.2021

 

5. Is it allowed to film TV talk in a gaming establishment (casino) or other gambling venue (gaming machines hall, betting shop)? What cannot be shown in the background?

The Gaming Law of the Republic of Lithuania does not prohibit the filming of talk shows on the premises of a gambling venue. However if filming is carried out on the premises of a gambling venue, the gambling company must cease its activities during the filming, as gamblers cannot be filmed, gambling devices may not be shown during the filming (only 'blurred' (unreadable and invisible) images may be shown), gambling devices may not be in operation during the filming, and information identifying a particular gambling company may not be shown.

Persons who have restricted their ability to gamble and are entered into the Register of Gambling Restricted Persons, as well as persons under 18 years of age (under 21 years of age for casino access), are prohibited from entering a gambling venue (gaming machine hall) during the filming (Part 10 of the Article 10, Part 10-1 of the Article 10 of the Gaming Law) even if gambling activities are stopped (not in progress), as the presence of such persons in the gambling venue could have a negative impact on them. When the filmed material is shown on the mass media (TV, internet), no information identifying the gambling operator (name, address of the specific gambling venue, address of the gambling company's website) may be visible in the background.

Updated: 21.12.2021

 

6. Does the Gambling Control Authority issue certificates to gamblers on the amounts paid for participation in gambling, and the winnings paid out?

No. The Gambling Control Authority does not issue certificates to gamblers on the amounts they have paid in and the winnings they have been paid.

A certificate of winnings paid out must be issued by the company that paid out the winnings, as stated in Article 20, Part 2 of the Gaming Law of the Republic of Lithuania, establishing that, at the request of a winning player the gaming operator must issue him a certificate in the form established by the State Tax Inspectorate to substantiate the declaration of assets.

Updated: 19.10.2021

 

7. Where can be found the specific types of gaming machines that are allowed to be operated in the Republic of Lithuania?

 

It can be found on our website, section “Register”. There you will find the link “Approved types of gaming devices”.

Updated: 19.10.2021

 

8. Is it allowed to show views / images of a gambling venue belonging to a particular gambling operator in movies (series)?

It is prohibited to show views/images allowing to identify a specific gambling company in movies (series), documentaries, TV programs, or any other publicly available video or music video (hereinafter referred to as “videos”). When showing images of a gambling venue, it is recommended to encrypt (make invisible) the data of the specific company organizing gambling (company name, trademark, other data allowing the identification of the specific gambling organizer). Any information related to the specific company organizing gambling in the movie subtitles can't be shown as well, as this would be considered as prohibited advertising of gambling (Article 10 Part 9 of the Gaming Law of the Republic of Lithuania).

Updated: 21.12.2021

 

9. Is the illumination of the exterior (windows, facades) of a gambling venue by flashing lights of different colors or any other illumination, including the illumination of the logo of the gambling company displayed on the exterior of the gambling venue by flashing lights, to be considered as additional visual information prohibited under Article 10.91 of the Gaming Law of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter – Gaming Law)? Is any decoration on the exterior of a gambling venue (e.g. festive decorations, garlands, and other decorations (on the front (facade), windows, at the entrance), which is not related to gambling, considered to be additional visual information prohibited under Article 10.91 of the Gaming Law? If another activity is offered in the gambling venue (e.g. a bar activity) and part of the windows are owned by them, are advertisements and/or information on the windows of the bar, which are not related to the gambling activity, considered to be additional visual information prohibited under Article 10.91 of the Gaming?  

The Gaming Law of the Republic of Lithuania does not prohibit the illumination of the facade, windows, company name, registered trademarks, types of gambling organized, as well as information not related to gambling, with flashing lights, different colored lights, or other illumination, and therefore such illumination is allowed. Decorations on the outside of the gambling venue, other decorations having no connection with gambling (festive trees, garlands, festive “pumpkins”, etc.), as well as information on permitted (bar, concert) activities taking place in the gambling venue, which are not related to gambling activities, shall be not considered as additional visual information prohibited under Article 10.91 of the Gaming.    

Updated: 21.12.2021

 

10. Is it allowed to order a positioning service for a gambling company's website and to use the Google Search Engine for searching for a gambling company and not contrary to the requirements of Article 10.9 of the Gaming Law of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter – Gaming Law)?

The ordering of a positioning service for the website of a gambling company and the use of the Google Search Engine to find the company's website is allowed and does not conflict with Article 10.9 of the Gaming Law.  However, if an advertisement of a gambling company appears in the Google Search Engine, the content of the advertisement must comply with Article 10.9 of the Gaming Law, irrespective of the number under which it is found in the search.

Updated: 21.12.2021

 

11. How should a gambling operator deal with a remote gambling customer whose identity document provided at the time of registration has bee expired, the customer refuses to provide a new (valid) identity document but asks to pay out the winning exceeding EUR 1 000?

According to Article 9 Part 9 of the Law on Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as the AML Law), “gaming companies must additionally identify (except for the cases where the identities of a customer and a beneficial owner have already been identified) and verify the identity of the customer and register him at the time of payment of an amount or collection of winnings, or when he exchanges cash into chips or chips into cash where the amount thereof exceeds EUR 1 000, or an equivalent amount in foreign currency, whether the transaction is carried out in a single operation or in several operations which appear to be linked, provided that payments are made in cash, also verify the identity of the customer at the point of entry to a gaming house (casino) and register him”.

In the above case, continuing the business relationship with a customer with whom a remote gambling contract has been concluded, the company must verify the identity of the customer by one of the methods referred to in Article 11 of the AML Law before the winning exceeding EUR 1000 Eur is paid out. In the absence of verified customer data, the company may not continue the business relationship and may not payout to the customer any winning exceeding  EUR 1 000 without terminating the remote gambling contract, as this would not comply with the requirement of Article 9 Part 9 of the Law on AML. If the customer refuses to provide the revised data, the company must inform the customer that failure to provide the revised data will result in the termination of the business relationship with the customer (termination of the remote gambling contract) and the amount of money will be transferred to a payment account specified by the gambler.

Updated: 21.12.2021

 

12. Are customers allowed in bars that are in gambling venues to pay by payment (debit, credit) card?

The legislator, by providing for the possibility to carry out other economic commercial activities (restaurants, bars, concerts, and currency exchange) on gambling premises, did not intend to restrict the rights of persons present at the gambling venue to pay for the bar services (goods purchased) provided by another legal entity by means of a bank card (debit, credit). The legislator, in Article 10 Part 5 of the Gaming Law of the Republic of Lithuania establishing prohibition on payment by bank (debit, credit) cards in premises where gambling is organized, sought only to restrict the possibility of acquiring credits used for gambling by direct payment by bank card. Thus, it is not prohibited to pay by bank (debit, credit) card for the services of a bar in gambling venues (Resolution of the Klaipėda Regional Court of 25 November 2019 in administrative case No AN2-325-795/2019).

Updated: 21.12.2021

 

13. How do I submit a report to the Gambling Control Authority under the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania (GCA) regarding possible illegal actions of a gambling company and possible violation of the applicant's rights?

Notifications from gamblers, players, institutions, citizens, etc. regarding possible violations of legal acts regulating the activities of economic entities by such entities shall be submitted to the GCA through the National Information System for Electronic Delivery of Mail using the postal network, by other means of electronic communication, by mail, by writing directly to the GCA, or by e-mail to [email protected] The notification must be: signed, the name, surname, and address of the person (in the case of a natural person) or the name, code, and registered office address (in the case of a legal person). Notifications sent by e-mail must be signed by electronic signature; written in the official language or in English; legibly written. A notification submitted by electronic means shall be drafted in such a way that the GCA receiving it can: identify the format of the electronic document; open and process it by means of the electronic document management system or other means of information technology used by the institution; identify the content of the notification; identify the electronic signature and the person submitting the notification. Where the notification to the GCA is submitted by a person’s representative, he/she shall be obliged to submit a document confirming the representation and the person’s notification. A notification that doesn’t comply with the above requirements shall be considered anonymous and shall not be examined in cases where the subject of the notification relates to the protection of the interests of the person submitting the notification and where it is not possible to protect the interests of the person without identifying him. If the notification does not comply with the requirements set out above, the person shall, where possible, be offered the opportunity to rectify the deficiencies in the notification within 10 working days of the date of such offer.

Updated: 21.12.2021

 

14. How is the gaming machine winnings fund percentage calculated?

In Lithuania, there are category A and B gaming machines in operation. The gaming machine winnings fund percentage is calculated over the lifetime of the gaming machine. The winnings fund of the category A machine is between 90% and 100%, and of the category B machine is between 80% and 100%. The aforementioned percentage of the winnings fund is specified in the Gaming Law of the Republic of Lithuania and in the Requirements for Gaming Devices and Tables. The fact that the percentage of the winnings fund for each gaming machine complies with the requirements laid down in the Law is ensured by the Gaming Control Authority and by the accredited bodies (laboratories) issuing the certificates for gaming machines and their types.

Updated: 19.10.2021

 

15. Will the gaming companies that currently have permits to organize remote gaming will no longer be required to have land-based gambling venues after 1 July 2022?

Article 3 of the amendment of Articles 5, 8, 81, 9, 13, 21 of Gaming Law of the Republic of Lithuania No. IX-325, also supplementing the law with Article 241, which amends Article 81 of the currently valid Gaming Law, states that "To organize remote table games, remote gaming on the gaming machine, remote betting or remote totalizator, including remote horse totalizator, remote bingo games are the right of companies that have received the license specified in Point 6 Part 1 of Article 5 of this law in accordance with the procedure established by this law, and that have received permission to organize remote gaming according to the procedure established in Article 21 of this law and when Gaming Control Authority approves the regulation for the organization of the relevant remote gaming". The specified provision establishes 3 conditions under which the company has the right to organize remote gaming, i.e., the company shall have 1. a license to organize remote gaming; 2. permission to organize remote gaming; 3. Regulation of the relevant remote gaming organization approved by the Gambling Control Authority. Companies already holding permits to organize remote gaming will not be required to have land-based gaming venues, as required by Article 81 of the currently valid Gaming Law after 1 July 2022 only if the companies meet the above conditions, i.e. if they will receive a license and permission to organize remote gambling. It is also important that the Lotteries and Gambling Tax Law of the Republic of Lithuania No. IX-326 amending Articles 1, 6, 8 and supplementing the Law with Article 51 in Article 2 of the Law, which supplements the currently valid Lotteries and Gaming Tax Law of the Republic of Lithuania with a new Article 51, provides that legal entities seeking to obtain a license to organize gaming in accordance with the procedure established by the Law, are charged with a one-time fee of 500,000 euros for issuing a license to organize remote gaming.

Updated: 12-21-2021

Last updated: 29-09-2022