Lithuania

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Lithuania

Welcome to this guidebook on online sports betting in Lithuania where you can start by finding a short background. The next section is a summary of the state of the internet market and tax that you may be liable for.

Afterwards, we will deliberate upon accessibility, mainly with respect to foreign websites for Lithuanian gamblers and finally conclude with some future perspectives on the sector.

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Intense Rivalry Between Sports Betting Firms in Lithuania

Lithuania was one of the last European countries to introduce laws permitting gambling, and since that time online betting has been growing rapidly. It is the largest country in the Baltic region, located in Northern Europe and bordered by several nations including Russia.

After the end of World War II, Russians occupied Lithuania and it was part of the Soviet Union for almost a century. With the fall of communism in Europe, Lithuania became the first state to break away from USSR on March 11th 1990 and declare independence. Litas will be replaced by Euro as Lithuanian currency when joining the EU in 2004 until 2015.

The initial gambling regulations were put in place in Lithuania in 2001 [1]. However, prior to this time, although there was some betting occurring within the country, it was done informally and on a smaller scale. Most of the unauthorized betting revolved around football matches, which is still the most favorite market to-date.

In 2001, the first legal betting shops started to arise with the Kanus-based TopSport being the first one of them that opened in 2002 [2]. The rest in this country are Omnibet, Orakulus and Baltic Bet.

Many amendments have been made to the law since its inception, but these primarily relate to taxation payable by operators and do not actually change the ‘bricks and mortar’ bookmaker activity. However, there are still the same four local companies functioning without serious competition from major UK and German bookmakers, but online websites compete hard for bettors.

Lithuanians Have Free Reign To Bet Online

The legislation adopted in 2001 and its subsequent modifications have never mentioned online betting; hence Lithuanians are not limited to using any website of their choice. This means that if you are in Lithuania, you may choose from a wide range starting from local companies to major UK-based firms or even little-known bookmakers. As a result, this adaptability enables users to decide on the priority factors when it comes to selecting a website.

Before selecting a website, you should see to it that they allow people from Lithuania. You should ensure that the site is licensed (ideally in the European Union), has been operating for some time and check out reviews of the site to ascertain its repeatable nature. Next look at what can be obtained from the site which comes in two ways.

Initially find out what promotions and/or free bets are available to you, as well as other conditions like the minimum stakes or odds to meet in order to withdraw these winnings. After this study how they set prices for events and gauge their competitiveness against others.

In case you want to know markets that provide multiple each way places, for example horse racing or golf, also look at the number of places a site usually pays and what are the place fraction of odds.

Make sure you are aware of this as it could change soon although there are a lot of good opportunities to exploit in the open online market today. In 2013, there was a bill put forward to tighten online gambling in Lithuania [3], which included a requirement that online sites must have a physical presence within the country and thus creating monopoly for local firms like TopSport, Orakuluas and Omnibet.

The European Commission was asked this legislation in early 2014 and they informed on May 2014 that they would give a response later during the year. As of now, a reply is still pending.

Flag of Lithuania

All Winnings Are Tax Free For Lithuanian Sports Bettors

Gambling winnings in Lithuania are not currently taxed. However, the new proposed law seems to suggest that nothing will change since licensed operators will pay taxes on their revenue but individuals shall not get any reductions for their wins.

If You’re Looking Abroad for Online Bookmakers, Currency and Language May Be a Problem

Unfortunately, even though there are many sites that want to do business with Lithuania, there are not many which have translated Lithuanian versions of their websites. This means that you would typically need to choose another language that you can be at ease with or depend on the translation tools of your browser whenever it is possible in this case.

Furthermore, it can be difficult to find sites that accept Litas hence you will probably be requested to exchange your money into Euros before gambling. While many of these casinos are able to handle this without any trouble, there could be some loss in value attributable to market fluctuation.

You may as well utilize digital wallets such as NETeller or Skrill in order to avoid frequent exchange rates since it is more common to have accounts with numerous online sites. By opening a EURO account, NETeller can facilitate instant transfers thereby minimizing exchange rate charges. Visa card and MasterCard are the two main credit options, however you may also take advantage of prepaid alternatives.

Using a website like TopSport, of course, this is for Lithuanian gambling enthusiasts so you do not have to fret about translating or changing currencies.

Future of the Lithuanian Market in the Hands of the Commission

The future of internet-based activities on sports betting including other forms of gambling is now in the custody of European Commission. Typically, Europe is a promoter of free markets; however, it has been seen to back countries that place ISP barricades to sites if it helps the market as a whole and protects its people.

In case of an ISP block on unlicensed sites, then it is not as easy as it seems and many countries have failed to stop the formation of black and grey markets that foreign websites still offer their services to. In whatever way it happens, there will probably be a grace period before any changes can occur.

References

[1] Overview of 2001 laws – FAY

[2] About Us – Bet Top Sport

[3] Lithuania Moves to Tighten Online Gaming Market Regulation – Lithuania Tribune

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