Gamblers in the Baltic state of Lithuania will soon be greeted by more extensive health warnings associated with their favourite gambling products.
The Vilnius Seimas, the legislative body of Lithuania, has unveiled new laws that will force all gambling operators to include warnings on their advertising material. The legislation will require the warnings to be in place by 1 July 2020.
The toughening of the rules received widespread support among the nation’s politicians, going through the parliament with a big majority. The Lithuanian Parliament also handed responsibility for ensuring that the regulations are enforced to the national Gaming Control Authority.
According to the politician who proposed the bill, Mykolas Majauskas, the new rules are not based on the idea that gambling is an evil, nor are they aimed at significantly harming the gambling sector but they are focused on ensuring that the risks and negative consequences of gambling are minimised:
“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.”
In bringing in the new rules, Majauskas said that he hoped Lithuania could reproduce the systems that are already in place in a number of other EU nations. He explained that the issue in Lithuania was the same as in other countries, and was focused on three issues: education about the risks of gambling, assistance for those with gambling problems, and providing help for those who were supporting loved ones with gambling addiction. And he added that public education, through advertising, was one of the most fundamental tools at their disposal.