Gambling laws in Lithuania
In 1992, only lotteries could legally operate in Lithuania. Gradually, the list of allowed gambling forms expanded. May 2001 saw the adoption of The Law on Games, followed by the Law on Lotteries in 2003. Online gambling has been legal in the country since 2016. According to the legislation, the legal regulation of gambling is the responsibility of the Gaming Control Authority, an institution set up under the Ministry of Finance.
The legislation is supplemented by the local regulatory acts:
- The Requirements for Remote Gambling Devices;
- The Decree on Approving Rules on Licensing National and Local Lotteries;
- The Decree on Approving Rules on Gambling Licensing;
- The Lotteries and Gambling Tax Law;
- The Gambling Licensing Rules;
- The National and Local Lotteries Licensing Rules.
For a long period of time, only companies operating land-based gambling establishments could obtain an online casino license. However, the rules were amended in 2021. The change was made to attract foreign investors and expand the country’s gambling industry.
Types of gambling allowed in Lithuania
The following gambling forms are permitted in Lithuania:
- Category A machine games and table games held in land-based casinos;
- Category B machine games organized in gaming machine halls;
- Bingo games conducted in dedicated bingo halls;
- Totalizators organized in totalizator stations;
- Totalizators organized in betting shops;
- Virtual online casino games.
Online casino visitors have access to various types of gambling, from video slots to live roulette and table games. Machine games, bingo and casino games can only be organized in the premises that are specified in the permit for opening gaming machine halls, bingo halls and gaming establishments.
Machine gaming can only be organized in gaming halls with at least 10 machines installed. In a bingo hall, only bingo games are allowed to be conducted. In land-based establishments, operators must install at least three gaming tables, including at least one roulette table, and 30 category A machines.
The Gaming Control Authority has set strict technical requirements for organizing each of the gambling activities.
Gambling licensing in Lithuania
As we mentioned above, gambling licenses in Lithuania are issued by the Gaming Control Authority, which is a branch of the Ministry of Finance. A company seeking to start a gambling business in the country must submit the following:
- A formal request which includes company name and address, postal code, phone number, email address, as well as name, surname and occupation of the company director or their authorized person who submitted the request, their signature and a list of attached documents.
- Financial documents that confirm the formation, payment and disposal of the capital.
- Data on board members, chief executive officer, their deputy, and chief financial officer (names, surnames, identification numbers, and their participation in the management of other companies).
- Information on the origin of the funds used by the company founders and shareholders to acquire the shares.
Also, operators must pay a state fee, which depends on the type of activity:
- €1,404 for a license to organize a national lottery;
- €1,279 for a license to organize gambling on category A and category B machines, bingo, table games, betting and totalizators;
- €1,404 for a license to organize local lotteries;
- €1,305 for a permit to open totalizators, betting shops, slot machine and bingo halls, and casino showrooms.
Gambling taxes in Lithuania
A gambling business, like any other business in Lithuania, is subject to taxation. The tax rate depends on the type of services provided. The percentage rates and the tax bases are presented in the table below:
Gambling taxation in Lithuania
|Type of gambling activity||Tax base||Tax rate|
|Table games||Fixed monthly fee||€2,300|
|Category A gaming machines||Fixed monthly fee||€260|
|Category B gaming machines||Fixed monthly fee||€130|
|Sports betting||Total amount of receipts minus the amount of winnings paid||18%|
|Online casino||Revenue after winnings paid out||13%|
|Lotteries||Nominal value of lottery tickets sold||5%|
|Bingo games||Total amount of receipts minus the amount of winnings paid||18%|
As you can see, lottery business owners pay the lowest taxes, whereas bingo hall and betting shop owners pay the highest.
Lithuania is a great country to start a gambling business in. It has a clear legal framework and permits virtually all gambling activities. In order to obtain a license, a business owner has to submit a large documentation package and pay an expensive fee; however, the expenses will quickly pay off, as both locals and tourists visit gambling establishments quite often!