The Olympic Entertainment Group (OEG) one of the biggest gambling operators in Eastern Europe has announced to downsize its presence in Lithuania citing tax hikes.
The gambling operator has confirmed that they would be shutting nine betting shops and two casino arcades.
The company’s management has decided to lighten its presence in Lithuania after tax hikes on Lithuanian retail verticals were announced earlier this year. The OEG finds it untenable to continue operations at the specific betting shops.
Lithuania’s government has passed an amendment that would effectively increase the tax on bingo, arcade and betting to 18 percent from 15 percent. All forms of online gambling activities will have to pay a fixed 13% revenue tax.
Saulius Petravičius, OEG MD for Lithuania, said: “Initiatives to aggressively change the tax environment not only create uncertainty but have also forced us to rethink and change our business model.
“We will move the activity from the closed facilities to other operating units, such as betting shops, casinos or the remote gambling platform. This is how we respond to changing market conditions so that we can ensure the sustainability of our business through legal action.”
Earlier in April, the gambling regulator in Lithuania fined the Olympic Casino Group as it was found violating the country’s money laundering act. Lithuanian Gaming Control Authority levied a 495,000 euros penalty on Olympic Casino Group Baltija which is the Lithuanian subsidiary of Estonia’s Olympic Entertainment Group.