Lithuania-The Next Bingo Market?

Most people would not think of Lithuania as a hotbed of online bingo but recent news reports would indicate otherwise. Lithuania was one of the last Eastern European countries to legalize online gambling but the government has finally recognized that online gambling including bingo could be a source of tax revenue. Lithuania gained its freedom 20 years ago and during the Soviet occupation no gambling was allowed and a friendly game of bingo or poker could land a citizen in the Gulag. The religious life of Lithuania has been dominated by the Catholic Church which opposes gambling.  Land based gambling was finally legalized in Lithuania in 2001.

Online gambling is legal in Lithuania but is not widespread. Lithuania’s lottery operator Olif?ja has the sole rights to offer online gambling in the country. Sportsbooks are an exception and are run by three private companies in Lithuania. The three companies, Topsport, Orakulas and Omnibet, also offer online betting services.  Some foreign companies are thinking about entering the Lithuanian online gambling market and at the present time the government remains neutral.

Recent news reports say that Lithuania’s lottery operator Olif?ja has reached an agreement with Greek gaming software developer Intralot that would expand online gaming and provide Lithuanian gamblers with online bingo and poker. The agreement which is binding for three years gives Intralot the right to provide Olif?ja with state of the art gaming platforms and player management services. Intralot will provide Olif?ja with bingo, keno, poker and more than forty scratch off and instant side games. General Director for Intralot Interactive George Zenzefilis stated, “We are really pleased with our agreement with Olif?ja. We are confident that we will have a win-win collaboration providing our state-of-the-art technology, our expertise and our dedicated team that will support Olif?ja in its efforts to expand further its business in the highly lucrative interactive gaming market.”

The online bingo game industry will be watching the developments in Lithuania closely. If online bingo sites like BingoHouse become popular in Lithuania, bingo providers will probably enter the Lithuanian bingo market. The bingo industry is constantly expanding and looking for new markets. Online bingo games are available in a variety of languages so language will pose no barrier for those companies entering the Lithuanian market. The Baltic States are an untapped market for internet bingo and other forms of online gaming. Broadband access is widely available in most Baltic nations so there are no technological barriers. Who knows; maybe Lithuania will be the next hot bingo market.

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