The market gaming revenue of Lithuania online gambling has been dramatically affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic, which led to the closure of retail operations in mid-March. Records released this week by Lithuania’s Gaming Control Authority (GCA) show gaming revenue falling 2.8% year-on-year to €25.9m in the first three months of 2020, despite turnover rising nearly 14% to €296.5m.
The seven online gambling licensees of the market totaled (68%) of Q1’s gambling turnover, which rose revenue 39% to €11.8m. Slots accounted for €5.5m of this take, nearly doubling year-on-year, while online sports revenue rose 14.6% to €6m, and table games contributed the rest.
On the other hand, online gambling’s share of revenue mounted to 45.5% following the closure of retail operations. Retail revenue fell 23.3% to €14.1m as the mass suspension of live sports pushed retail betting down by one-third to just €1.8m. Land-based slots (€9m) and table games (€3.4m) reported slightly less double-digit declines.
The states’ online licensees agreed to stop their marketing during the pandemic, and, once advertising resumes, it will be required to include responsible gambling messaging as per new rules approved by the national legislature earlier this year.
Many gamblers want to quit from local gambling operators. According to GCA, the number of gamblers who want to leave is way too high compared to last year, which had a total of 5,079 applications.
However, Lithuania’s Gaming Control Authority said those applications wouldn’t put off gamblers from patronizing internationally licensed gambling sites, which justifies the regulator’s ongoing expansion of its online gambling blacklist.