Lithuanians lost a staggering €288 million to gambling and lotteries in 2023, according to Virginijus Daukšys, the chief of the Gaming Supervision Authority.

Daukšys revealed the figures during a press briefing, stating that €222 million was spent on gambling, while €66 million went into lottery tickets.

Daukšys expressed the challenge of determining the motives behind gambling expenditures, whether they stem from recreational or compulsive habits, as such data is not readily available.

The issue gained further attention following allegations against Šarūnas Stepukonis, a former partner at BaltCap Infrastructure Fund (BInF), who purportedly misappropriated and squandered approximately €27 million through gambling activities. In response, Lithuanian lawmakers introduced amendments to the Gambling Law, aiming to tighten regulations on gambling advertisements in the nation starting from 2025.

Conservative MP Mindaugas Lingė highlighted the proposed changes, stating that the only exception to the stricter advertising rules would apply to promotions in front of gambling establishments or on websites hosting online gambling services. Photo by Stefan Schweihofer, Wikimedia commons.