The Republic of Estonia is a small Nordic country that’s part of the three Baltic States. It’s part of the European Union since 2004 and is considered to have one of the most developed IT sectors in the world. Since the population in the entire country is just over 1.3 million people, and the taxes are among the highest, only operators who plan to offer services to the residents are usually the only applicants. T&C's apply to all bonus offers on this site. Click for a list of all jurisdictions.
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Tax and Customs Board and the Gambling Tax Act
The main authority which deals with gambling activities in Estonia is the Tax and Customs Board. Before the Gambling Tax Act entered into force in 2009, online gambling was illegal. Due to the 2007 economic crisis that had negative consequences on Estonian economy, the government made a decision to legalise online gambling and set a new act to regulate the field.
However, operators are allowed to offer their service only on condition that they all get the necessary licenses from the respective authority, which is the Estonian Tax and Customs Board.
As far as land-based gambling is concerned, it is the Gambling Act of 2008 that the industry is regulated by as of today.
Activity and Operating Licenses
Online operators, who wish to offer services to locals, need to apply to two licenses, submitted to the Tax and Customs Board.
The first type of license is the activity license, which is granted for an unspecified term and is not transferable.
Having provided all the necessary documentations for the application and passed the tax record checks, the applicant is obliged to pay up to 47 933,73 euros for the issue of an activity license for the organisation of either games of chance (including casino and bingo), games of skill or toto (totalisator plus betting).
Operators who have an activity license for a relevant gambling type have to apply for an operating license to organise a specific type of gambling. These are granted for 20 years and are applicable to all the subcategories mentioned above.
Note that lotteries – including lotto, keno, bingo and scratch cards – can only be organised by a state-owned public limited company for non-profit associations and foundations only. Currently, Eesti Loto remains a monopoly in this business area.
Online gambling for a person under 21 years of age is prohibited. The same applies to totos and lotteries, where the age limit is set to 18 and 16 years, respectively.
Operators have to make sure that the average amount distributed to players as a result of a game shall exceed 80 percent of the total amount of all bets.
What’s more, the organiser of a game of chance may use the data entered into the list for verification of the existence of restrictions on playing games of chance only.
There are currently only a handful of online casinos in operation in Estonia. This includes sites like Kingswin, Tonybet, Maria, Unibet, Paf, Optibet, Chanz and Triobet.
In the Republic of Estonia all online gambling activities are regulated by the Tax and Customs Board under the 2009 Gambling Tax Act. Only operators who have both the activity and operating license are allowed to operate within the Nordic country, abiding the regulations set in the act.
Click to visit Estonian Tax and Customs Board website.
By Denise Marie