As it is informed, the Lithuanian regulator has recently fined a web resource for placing gambling-related ads. The website has been advertising such products for a long time, according to the Gambling Supervisory Authority. An employee who was responsible for this task had to pay 1500 euros.
What law did the website break? Skirmante Paukstiene, Chief Specialist of Gaming Devices Type Approval and Register Division of the Gaming Control Authority, and Chief Specialist of the Control Division, Irma Venckuviene, have explained the legal aspects of the incident.
This time the regulator had all evidence
Commenting on the situation, the representatives of the Gaming Control Authority have provided the information about the restrictions on publishing gambling ads on mass media in Lithuania:
“According to the Gaming Law of the Republic of Lithuania (hereinafter – Gaming Law) gambling advertising is prohibited in Lithuania with some exceptions. It is applied to all public content, also to mass media. As the Law says: “It shall be prohibited to advertise gaming in the territory of the Republic of Lithuania, except for the names, trademarks of the companies operating games, and types of games operated.”
The experts also specified what items of the gambling law the website had broken:
“Part 9 and 9 (1) of the Article 10 of the Gaming Law of the Republic of Lithuania prohibits the promotion of gambling on the territory of the Republic of Lithuania, except for the names of gambling companies, trademark, and types of gambling.
The site krepsinis.net was found to be hosting gambling ads with slogans and animated backgrounds, and featuring promotional bonuses, all of which are prohibited under Lithuanian regulations. These ads also lacked the mandatory warnings required in gambling ads. Such information published on the website considered as prohibiting the advertising of gambling and the publication of such billboards on the mentioned website violated the provisions of Article 10, Parts 9, 9 (1), 9 (2) of the Gaming Law of the Republic of Lithuania.
What is more, the Court noted, that the person responsible was held liable not only for the fact that advertisements with inappropriate content were uploaded, but also for the fact that the billboards were placed on the website without ensuring control over the advertising content contained therein. According to the Court, the company deliberately chose a way to place advertising, the prior control of the content of which is not possible, and must therefore take responsibility for the content of the placed advertising.”
It was informed that the advertisement lacked responsible gambling messages. According to the Gaming Control Authority representatives, in this case, gambling ads violating requirements of the Gaming Law were placed on the mentioned website, which means that they were containing additional written and visual information (like slogans, animated backgrounds, encouraging to try bonuses, etc.), and, furthermore, the advertisement lacked responsible gambling messages. All this makes ads prohibited content in general.
The above-mentioned website has been breaking the law for years. However, the regulatory body issued a fine for the first time. The experts commented on this:
“Inspections were also carried out in previous years, but all administrative cases were closed because not enough evidence was gathered to prove the guilt of those who were responsible. The methods used to investigate this type of infringement are not public information. We can only say that we pay a lot of attention to the training of employees in investigating violations in the electronic space. When communicating with colleagues from EU countries, we see that most countries face similar problems and, like the Gaming Control Authority of the Republic of Lithuania, are still looking for effective ways to combat illegal advertising.”
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