Lithuania Coming Down on Unlicensed OperatorsPublished March 8, 2016 by Lee R
This may not be the most popular approach, but Lithuania like all countries needs to enforce licensing guidelines.
Lithuania has tightened its restrictions against operators attempting to offer gambling services in Lithuania without a license.
Following Up on Promises
The restrictions imposed in January 2016 by the Gaming Control Authority under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania are similar to the actions taken in the USA blocking fund transfers to online gambling not legal in the country. The Gaming Control Authority further will legally require internet service providers to block access to illegal online gambling websites, with further action against encroaching companies forthcoming.
Now, Virginijus Dauksys, director of the Gaming Control Authority, has released a list of operators licensed by the Gaming Authority as well as updating the GCA website's list of unlicensed operators. Duaksys likened efforts to work around Lithuanian licensing restrictions such as changing of internet domain names as smuggling, affirming that the Lithuanian authority would be diligent. Dauksys asserted that the Lithuanian regulatory authority would be diligent in enforcing the new laws in order to protect those in Lithuania “vulnerable to uncontrolled gambling flows” such as compulsive gamblers and minors.
Prominent operators such as Betway, TrioBet, Unibet and William Hill were on the original blacklist. They have now been joined by a collection of domains identified by the Lithuanian authority as being associated with PokerStars, MarathonBet, Pinnacle Sports, 188Bet and NordicBet.
The GCA claims that the names added to the original list were thee result of some of the efforts from the originally blacklisted operators to modify their domains in the interests of what GCA says was to “circumvent” the GCA’s IP-blocking orders to local internet service providers.
Lithuania has currently issued licensed four licenses, to Olympic Casino Group, Orakulas, Top Sport and TonyBet.
Will the Enforcement Strategy Work?
The question now is whether this blacklist will discourage operators, or increase respect for Lithuanian licensing guidelines. No matter how it looks, this is clearly the stance the government will have to take.