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Betting in Lithuania

Published on: 01/02/2016

Lithuania is located in Northern Europe and is the biggest of the three Baltic States. It became independent from the Soviet Union in 1990. Lithuania is a democratic Republic and in 2004, joined the European Union as a full member. The currency used was the Litas until the recent change over to the Euro. The national language is Lithuanian and the country’s population is just over 3 million.

In 2001, the Lithuanian council authorized the Gaming Act, making betting activities fully legal. The State Gaming Control Commission was put in charge of overseeing the commercial operations such as sports betting, lotteries, casino and bingo halls, as well as slot machines and table games.

Many gambling facilities have been established throughout Lithuania during the past 10 years. The capital city of Vilnius is home to eleven venues, while Kaunas and Klaipeda each have three well equipped casinos. Another four can be found in Siauliai, Penevezys and Palanga. In total the country boasts approximately 21 substantial casinos.

Lithuania’s largest gambling organization is known as the Olympic Entertainment Group. They run many gambling establishments via its “Olympic Casino” label. The Olympic casinos operate 24 hours a day, with “Bonus Club” memberships available to regular customers. Its biggest venue is situated in Vilnius and offers more than one hundred slot machines and over thirty games tables.

In addition to casinos, Tete-a-Tete manages arcades where generous jackpots are the prominent attraction. In 2003, a company called Orakulas founded a bingo hall, located in the capital. The Department of Physical Education and Sports confirmed the game of Poker as an officially recognized sport in 2010, which has made the gambling activity even more popular throughout the nation.

In Lithuania, there are three lotteries available. Olifeja offers the biggest lottery and has a licence to facilitate an online service. Tele-Loto is very popular amongst the citizens and is supplemented by Jega, Keno Loto and split level. Fortuna Baltica and Zalgirio Loto also operate their own lotteries.

Before 2001, a few unlicensed sportsbooks catered for the huge interest in football betting. Once the Gaming Act was passed, legal licensed betting shops became popular and took over. Starting in 2002, a company called Top Sport has been running many of these gambling shops throughout the country.

In Lithuanian, Omnibet and Orakulas are prominent gambling companies. Omnibet is the only bookie which includes greyhound racing products. Another company known as Baltic Bet, gained a licence enabling it to provide the Lithuanian citizens with horseracing and dog racing events happening in the other Baltic nations. Each of these betting organizations have online sportsbooks using the Lithuanian language.

Then Gaming Act does not regulate gambling activities via the internet. Therefore, it is not illegal to place bets on foreign websites. Currently, nearly 500 online sportsbooks such as William Hill, Ladbrokes, Expekt, Unibet, Bet 365 and Paddy Power welcome play from Lithuania’s citizens with many offering services in the local language.