The tiny Baltic state of Lithuania only regained its independence less than twenty years ago which resulted in Lithuanian gambling laws developing very slowly. The country’s unfavorable policies towards the gambling industry and its’ benefits was largely due to the high percentage of Catholics in the country at the time.
Despite the fact that the National Gambling and Gaming Business Association (NGGBA) began lobbying for gambling as far back as 1994, the first casino in Lithuania was only opened in 2002 from which date the gambling market became more successful. A number of internet casinos have since explored the Baltic region as a suitable market.
The Lithuanian government did not show any objection to foreign based online casinos in Lithuania but the legal environment is not modern enough for them. According to the law betting winnings can only be paid out in cash immediately upon the presentation of the winning card and winnings cannot be transferred to the winner’s bank account, making it impossible for companies to apply for a license in Lithuania. However, new legislation is trying to determine how to define online gambling and how these facilities should operate. Meanwhile the market remains open due to the government being quite lax when it comes to the subject.
The Lithuanians will probably take an example from the Estonians and open their market to all EU based online gaming sites in the near future on condition that they pay higher prices for licenses and applications.