Blackjack back on in Baltics
By Paul
Lithuania has rejoined the international gambling fraternity, with the opening its first casino since a nationwide gambling ban was lifted last July.

The Nese Hotel’s casino has opened in the port city of Klaipeda, offering four gambling tables. There are three card tables and one for roulette. The casino, described by a report in the Baltic Times as in the style of a classic English casino, will employ 20 croupiers, and will service up to 30 players at a time.

Kazys Paulikas, Nese's owner, did his research by visiting Las Vegas casinos and talking to Belgian consultants in the past few months. The maximum payout at the casino is 1.2 million litas ($300,000), although nobody won that amount on the opening night, March 1st.

Nese’s might be the only game in town in Klaipeda, but it isn’t the only game in Lithuania: two gambling halls were opened last month in Vilnius by Olympic Casino Group Baltija, which also operates 12 gambling halls in Estonia, where the company is based. Olympic plans more gambling halls and another casino in August.

Also, Casino Planet plans to open casinos in Vilnius’ former planetarium building and in Luby’s Vetra Hotel in Palanga this year. According to the report, an as yet unidentified Latvian company is planning a casino in Kaunas, Lithuania’s second largest city.

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