Saturday October 19,2013 : LITHUANIA PLANNING STRICT SUPERVISION OF ONLINE GAMBLING
Finance ministry considering ISP blocking as an enforcement tactic.
The Lithuanian government has proposed to the Seimas (parliament) that online gambling be legalised and licensed in 2014 under strict controls by a Gambling Supervisory Authority.
Government proposals include the possible use of ISP blocking as a tactic to exclude illegal operators from accessing punters living in the Eastern European country
Deputy Finance Minister Vytautas Galvonas told the Lithuanian Tribune this week that legitimate gambling companies in Lithuania would face going out of business if unlicensed activity by illegal online gambling operators was allowed to continue.
Galvonas said that gambling in general was legalised in Lithuania in 2001, but because the online gambling genre was still developing at that point, the legalization was not specific regarding its legality, leaving an opportunity for online operators to offer their services.
It was now necessary to bring online gambling under stricter control to ensure that only properly licensed and regulated operators accessed the Lithuanian market, he said.
Blocking the domains of gambling companies that are not registered in Lithuania would not be an expensive option, he observed on the question of enforcement, adding that Lithuania could follow the suit of neighbouring Estonia.
“The Communications Regulatory Authority said that it would cost a lot [to block a domain] and it’s very complicated. But we have Estonia’s example – the Estonians said that it’s not a cure-all solution. There is a black list, they are tracking those companies and blocking them. As far as the results are concerned, 66 percent have not even noticed that such a measure is being taken. Another 19 percent circumvent the law and 16 percent do not register since they are aware that they will be blocked,” the deputy minister said.