This post is part of a series about European Poker Regulation
Poker is completely legal in Lithuania, the ex-soviet country, but it is heavily regulated and restricted. Land based gambling is of course allowed and poker is played in many of the landbased casinos in the country. Lithuanians are very keen on poker, and the most notorious Lithuanian poker player is non other than Tony G, the dynamic, verbally violent, poker personality who conquered the poker world by storm for many years with total winnings estimated at over 5 million dollars. Up until recently poker stars sponsored a few Lithuanians as part of their team and it will be interesting to see how this unfolds with the new regulation.
Lithuania poker regulation
All forms of gambling were illegal in Lithuania until 1990 when the Soviet Union broke down. Moving forward the country did not immediately regulate poker and gambling, so it stayed a gray market for a significant portion of the last two decades. In 2013 the EU issued out a warning to several members states in regards to their gambling legislation and in response Lithuania has made significant reforms, starting in 2014 and ending just recent in January of 2016, which impost strict regulations that still comply with EU law
Lithuania online Poker
Much like Belgium, poker providers are limited because of the structure of regulation which makes this tiny country of 3 million citizens unappealing to some of the bigger international names. The only providers allowed to offer play are those who already have some landbased offering & a license given by the country. This new regulation, which came into effect in January of 2016, has already led to some online operators to be banned in the Lithuania though we expect that those who find financial sense in staying in the country will also find a way to come to terms with the Lithuanian governing body.