In the small European nation of Lithuania and parliamentarians have reportedly approved measures that are to waive the existing requirement for locally-licensed online gambling operators to maintain a domiciled business presence within the country.
According to a Monday report from a source, members of the 141-seat Seimas recently approved amendments to the Baltic nation’s Gambling Law and Lottery and Gaming Tax Law that will see the Lithuania Gambling Control Authority introduce a new type of licence solely for ‘the organization of remote gambling services’.
Home to almost 2.8 million people, Lithuania reportedly began legalizing a diverse range of online gambling activities from 2016 so long as licensed operators could meet a range of criteria including a provision that obliged them open and sustain a physical establishment within its territory. However, this requirement is purportedly one of many that is to now being changed as the county continues a process of reforming its iGaming scene to further differentiate such activities from land-based gambling businesses.
The Gambling Law amendment newly passed by Lithuanian parliamentarians will reportedly give firms currently holding a local gambling license two years to apply for one of the new Lithuania Gambling Control Authority-controlled certifications and become solely online-based enterprises.
Reportedly reads a section of the Gambling Law amendment…
“The organization of remote gambling, unlike land-based gambling, is not related to their execution in a specific territory or municipality, that is, remote gambling is carried out online throughout the territory of Lithuania. Therefore, it is not appropriate to require the consent of the municipality when issuing a permit for remote gambling.”
Regarding the recently-approved amendment to the Lottery and Gaming Tax Law and the source disclosed that iGaming operators are set to be charged a one-time fee of €500,000 ($514,380) to obtain one of the new online-only licenses while those wishing to maintain a dual land-based and remote presence will be asked to hand over a €1 million ($1.02 million) duty.
A second source reported that the passage of these amendments came around two weeks after Lithuanian parliamentarians consented to a measure that is to raise the minimum age for domestic lottery players by two years to 18. Set to become official from January 1, this alteration to Section 28 of the Lotteries Law, which was approved on June 21 by a 90-to-nine margin with ten abstentions, has purportedly long been championed as way of helping the country to stiffen its responsible gambling commitments and will moreover prohibit operators from paying prizes to anyone below this threshold.