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Online Gambling Profit in Lithuania Surpasses Retail

Online Gambling Profit in Lithuania Surpasses Retail

Due to online gambling rising, Lithuania's local gambling industry suffered only a moderate revenue this year, while land-based slot halls remain the local favorite despite the fact that they keep shutting down their doors.

Lithuanian Gaming Control Authority (GCA) recently published figures showing that the local gambling industry produced revenue of €75.6 million in the nine months ended September 30, a decrease of 6.5% year-on-year, which is no bad given that retail gambling operators had to shut down from mid-March to mid-May due to COVID-19.

That shutdown allowed Lithuania's six (down from seven at the end of Q2) online gambling licensees to claim the majority share (50.8%) of the 9M revenue pie, as online revenue increased by almost 38% from the same time last year, while retail revenue fell by almost 30%.

Online's current market-leading position looks likely to continue after Lithuania has requested a second store shutdown to tackle increasing rates of contamination of COVID-19. Slot rooms, betting shops and bingo parlors were all ordered to be closed between November 7 and November 29, while online gaming sites were advised to proceed as normal.

The €9m gaming gains came mainly from online slots, which saw sales almost doubling to €19.5m year-on-year, while online table games almost tripled to €833k. Restricted internet gaming sales benefit from the pandemic damage of big sports to 3.1% (€17.1m).

Meanwhile, this week the GCA released a survey which questioned around 1k residents about their gambling habits. The poll, which was completed in mid-October, reveals that 43% of respondents played the lottery, eight points behind the 2019 survey, which may be more due to the closing of discount price points than the frustration of lotteries.

Then again, out of the 12% of respondents who played on something other than lotteries, retail slots parlors ranked the best at 47%, up 14 points from 2019, but the closure doesn't seem to have changed the land-based slots appeal.

Online gaming score increased from 38% to 41%, an unusually small increase given the effects of the pandemic. The number of retail sports bettors fell from one point to 29%, while land-based casino guests declined to 26% by six points.

The GCA also found that a overwhelming majority of respondents (76%) favored decreases in the amount of gambling advertisements, while an somewhat less accommodating 52% wished to see a full ban on gambling ads (the latter figure fell to 22% while relating to lottery ads).

However, a small majority of respondents (53%) think the responsible GCA gambling advertisements were required, as almost three-quarters (74%) agree that gambling can be addictive. More than two-thirds (68%) shared awareness of self-exclusion services for people suffering from gambling issues.

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