In a major victory for Lithuanian online casino players, Vilnius City Court rejected a case brought by the Lithuania Gambling Regulator against TEO, a telephone company which controls most of the country’s high speed DSL lines. The Regulator took the case to court in order to force TEO to block every single international online casino, bingo hall, sportsbook and poker room.;
TEO refused the original request, citing its unwillingness to voluntarily participate in censorship as the primary reason for the refusal. The Regulator, under the direction of Lithuanian gambling laws, took the case to court in order to force TEO to block the offensive sites.
Vilnius court ruled that TEO has no obligation to block websites that are hosted on networks which it doesn’t own or control. The court’s spokesperson, Mr. Anthony Bubnelis, elaborated – ‘The court, relying on the expert testimony from Lithuania Communications Regulatory Authority has indicated that the blocking of websites at the DNS level and IP address filtering is pointless, short-term and easily defeated by the use of proxy servers.’
In addition – ‘Lithuania Constitutional Court past ruling states that public information may be prohibited, censored or restricted only in cases of national emergencies, and internet casino websites do not pose a level of threat which can be viewed by a reasonable person as a national emergency. ‘Citizens are allowed to gamble at any Lithuanian internet casino under the supervision of the Regulatory Agency.
The Regulator immediately appealed the ruling to Vilnius District Court, claiming that the City Court did not address the reasons behind blocking online casinos. The attorney representing the Regulator, Mr. Charles Vinciunas, stated – ‘I think the Supreme Administrative Court and the District Court will view this matter differently. I think that at least the interpretation will be different and will address our primary concern which is the prevention of illegal internet gambling at foreign online casinos.’