As of August 2019, there were a few licensed online sportsbook sites in Lithuania, though sports betting players still try to access international platforms that offer them a wide variety of sports and higher odds. On those international platforms, they can also claim some of the best online sports betting bonuses on the market and get many online sports betting promotions. Moreover, despite the authorities' efforts to actively block unlicensed websites, no reports of players being prosecuted have surfaced.
The history of betting in Lithuania is rather short compared to that of many other countries. Before 1992, Lithuania was part of the Soviet Union. In the USSR, all forms of betting were illegal. However, with the legalization of the Latvijas Loto in 1992, Lithuanians began enjoying legal betting on their favorite games.
Lithuania oversaw the legalization of online sports betting in 2001. This was due to the Catholic church's influence. Over time, a huge number of international and local markets have started making their way into the country’s territory. Following pressure from the European Union, the Lithuanian government amended the gambling act in 2016.
Two major pieces of legislation completely shaped the gambling scene as it exists today for Lithuanian players. The first is the Republic of Lithuania's Gambling Law, which was enacted in May 2001. With it came a new era for land-based casino gaming, which was officially legalized and overseen by the Gaming Control Authority.
Recent betting history
During the 2000s and early 2010s, sports betting sites were not popular. Yes, there were some players from Lithuania that registered and played, but the platforms were in their inception stages. In 2015, they caused a massive boom, and thousands of Lithuanian players started registering at these sites.
The government wanted to protect players and make sure that they had a pleasant and secure gaming experience, which is why it decided to act quickly. The Gaming Law was amended in 2016, and the most recent change legalized online sports betting.
Internet service providers were also instructed to block unlicensed sites. However, that system is not as effective as authorities envisioned since only the biggest illegal casino sites in Lithuania are blocked. The Gaming Control Authority was tasked with overseeing online gambling.
In 2021, all forms of gambling advertising were banned in Lithuania. Bonuses and promotions such as gifts, discounts, test games, and so on are also included. The rule went into effect on July 1, 2021.