Lithuania is a country located in eastern Europe. It borders the Baltic Sea to the west, Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south, Poland to the south-west and Kaliningrad Oblast to the south-west as well.
The history of online gambling in Lithuania has a bit of a controversy. Right now, they have a single state-sponsored company that handles most online gambling called Olifeia. Sports betting is the only type of gambling not handled by this company, and it's held by three others that have government backing as well. This results in a virtual monopoly inside of their borders that they've tried to protect unsuccessfully.
This attempt at protection came in 2011 when Lithuania brought a court case against the main Internet provider for the country, TEO. They wanted TEO to block foreign gambling sites, and TEO refused to on the basis of its position on Internet censorship. Higher courts ruled that Lithuania would only have the power to force TEO to do this in the case of national emergency, and the blocking of online gambling sites hardly constituted a national emergency.
The country has been working towards a more formal licensing process instead of their state-backed monopoly, but they haven't gotten to the point of making it a reality yet. It's unclear what level of trust would be had in their future licensing process because of how they have tried to squeeze out competition for their state monopoly in the past. The European Commission has been pushing for Lithuania to regulate the industry, however, so that could be a good push in the right direction.
Players have a reasonable amount of protection playing with state-backed sites. They have a huge incentive to treat players fairly, since they want to make sure that players do not lose confidence in their games. This would cause them to lose market share. Playing with foreign operators, however, is not illegal in this country. With that having been said, Lithuania offers no protection for players who get in on the action with foreign operators, so players should pick and choose which foreign sites they play with if they want to skip the Lithuania-backed sites.
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