Lithuania forces gambling ad warnings

A bill proposed by Mykolas Majauskas of the Homeland Union Lithuanian Christian Democratic Party has passed by Lithuania’s legislature Seimas and will force all gambling advertisements to include a warning about gambling-related harm. The bill, which was passed by consensus after no objections were raised at its first reading, will take effect from 1 July 2020.

“Gambling is not an evil in itself, but as the sector develops, it is important to be able to control the risks involved and minimise the negative consequences,” Majauskas said. “There is no need to jam poles into the spokes of the gaming market’s wheels in a way that would pull it off the road, but at least you need to attach reflectors.”

Lithuania’s gambling regulator, the Lošimų Priežiūros Tarnyba (Gambling Authority), shall determine the content that must be displayed in the warning.

Majauskas said the bill would allow Lithuania to follow the example set by many other EU countries: “By law, we would oblige the Gambling Authority to set clear rules and to make notes that would change every time. And we also expect a responsible and sensible approach to how these rules should be applied. That is, they would not apply, for example, to gambling branding on basketball players’ uniforms.

Other countries in the European Union have very similar problems, they say: first, we need to educate; secondly, we must help those who have problems; third, we need to help people who have loved ones who have gambling problems. One of the basic tools for solving problems is public education, education through social advertising.

A large number of countries in the European Union ensure that organisations that promote their trademarks are accompanied by very simple inscriptions: ‘Do not give up your life to gambling’, ‘You can lose your family as well as your money’.”

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