According to Lithuanian legal acts, lottery is not gaming and it is organized and regulated following the Law on Lotteries of the Republic of Lithuania. Three operators offer major national lotteries in Lithuania and are organised by the Joint Stock Company “Olifeja,” (Note: 50 per cent share of Olifeja belong to National Olympic Committee) the Joint Stock Company “Žalgirio lotto,” and the Joint Stock Company “Fortuna Baltica”. Among them, they offer lotto, keno and instant tickets as well as the popular lotteries Jega 1 and Jega 2. The largest Lithuanian lottery operator is Olifeja controls about 93% of the market. The leading betting operators are TopSport, Orakulas and Omnibetas.
According to Lithuanian regulations, the lottery prize fund shall account for not less than 50 percent of the face value of lottery tickets. When operating lotteries, a tax rate of 5 percent is imposed on the lottery tax base. These 5% goes to the general state budget, and the remaining 8% going to charities and sponsorships.
Currently, the Olifeja tax contributions are 5% a year and contributions to good causes attract an 8%. License requirements and fees paid by the company was €2,900 for every game untill 2004. From 2004, these are included in the lottery company licensing.
Lithuania’s lottery is considered a mass-market game and so is allowed to be sold through Government institutions and be advertised freely. At present lotto is available over the telephone, branded as Telelotto.
Following the gaming law passed by Lithuania’s Parliament in July 2001, the nation’s first legal casino was opened in March 2002. Since then, three additional casino properties have opened. Casino Planet opened in May 2002 and the Grand Casino (JSC “Olympic Casino Group Baltija”), operated by the Estonian Olympic Group, opened later in 2002 in Vilnius. Another casino was opened in Vilnius in 2003 by Great Canadian Europa.
The gaming machines operated within casinos are designated category A devices and as such are permitted unlimited payouts though they are subject to a higher tax rate.
In 2005, there were a total of 13 casinos operating across Lithuania with a total of 110 tables and 626 slots. According to the Control Commission, during 2003 Lithuania’s casinos generated a GGR of LTL 43.6 million (€12.63 million). In 2003 tables generated LTL 25.2 million (€7.3 million) in GGR while category A gaming machines had a GGR of LTL 18.4 million (€5.3 million). The revenue of the companies organising casino gambling made 54.1% of the total gambling market.
Machine Gambling Outside Casinos
Gaming machines became legal with the legalization of gaming in Lithuania and with the first edition of the Gaming Law in July 2001. Gaming machines were operated in gaming machine halls since legalization of gaming in 2001. On 1 September 2002 amendments to the Gaming Law came into effect. They introduced some changes in the gaming machine sector: gaming machines were divided into categories A (unlimited payouts) and B (limited payouts). Since then gaming machines of category A can be operated only in casinos (together with gaming tables) and the machines of category B can be operated only in gaming machine halls.
In their first full year of operation in 2003, category B gaming machines generated a GGR of LTL 1.4 million (€405,000). By the end of 2004 there were 39 arcades with 597 B category machines in Lithuania. Compared to the year 2003 the number of arcades had increased by 18 (66%). During the first quarter of 2005, the number of gaming arcades increased by five. Compared to the year 2003 the number of B category machines increased by 234 units (i.e. 64 %). During the first quarter of 2005 the total number of B category machines increased by 68 units, which made a total of 665 category B gaming machines in the market. As of May 2006, there are seven accredited foreign laboratories and 1 national testing laboratory.
In 2004 there were five companies organising gambling on B category machines.
The income of the companies organising gambling on B category machines (two companies stopped their activity) increased 7.2 times and in 2004 was 54.5 million LTL (€15.8 million); in 2003 it was 7.5 million LTL (€2.2 million). The revenue of the companies organising gambling on B category machines comprised 16% of the total gambling market.
In 2004 there were only three companies organising betting in Lithuania. The two leading betting operators are Topsport Lazybu Bendrove, with 27 outlets in 2003, and Orakulas, which operated 14 outlets. A third operator is Omnibet, a relatively new entrant to the Lithuanian sports betting market .
According to Law on Lottery and Gaming Tax, operators of bingo, totalisator and betting pay a tax rate of 15% on the lottery and gaming tax base.
The turnover of companies organising betting in 2004 was 48.9 million LTL (€14.2 million) compared to 7.7. million LTL (€2.23 million) in 2003. The revenue of the companies organising betting was 13% of the total gambling market.
In the case of Lithuanian bingo, there is a flat rate of 15% tax charged on gross profits. There is only one Bingo hall in operation in Lithuania. The revenue of the company organising bingo was 0.12% of the total gambling market.
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