OVERVIEW OF THE ESTONIAN GAMBLING MARKET IN 2021
While most post-Soviet countries restrict or ban gambling business, the Baltic countries have another approach to this kind of business. They not only took an example from European countries but created their own regulation of the gambling business. Among the Baltic countries, Estonia is the best example of an approach to gambling regulation. The Estonian authorities have created the safest and most legal environment for the gambling business. All favorable conditions for this field of activity contribute to an increase in profits to the state budget. However, the regulation of the gambling market was not immediately successful in Estonia. The authorities have made many amendments and changes to the legislation regarding the gambling industry. These changes brought improvements, which made the Estonian gambling market one of the most attractive among other European markets. Let’s take a closer look at how the gambling industry has evolved and how online and land-based casinos are regulated in 2021.
Estonia was part of the USSR until 1991, where all types of gambling activities were prohibited. After Estonia seceded from the USSR, the authorities allowed the national lottery in 1994. And in 1995, the Gambling Act was passed, which legalized games of skill, totalisators, betting, and games of chance. This law has become the main document regulating gambling activities. Since the adoption of this law, it has undergone a number of amendments and changes. This law has helped many casinos to come out of the underground and fully function in the gambling market. However, not all operators were able to comply with the law that regulated the gambling business. For example, the minimum number of slot machines and tables specified in the law meant that small gambling establishments could not legally operate. The Gambling Act 1995 and the Lottery Act 1994 played a crucial role in shaping the gambling market in Estonia but have lost their relevance due to the development of innovative technologies in this field. In 2008, a new gambling law was passed that completely replaced the previous two laws. However, this law does not mention anything about online gambling. After the law came into force, this period became difficult for the gambling market in Estonia. The impact of the global economic crisis and new restrictions could not affect the gambling industry, which led to a significant reduction in land-based casinos. For example, in Tallinn, the number of casinos dropped from 91 to 33. In order not to miss out on profits from potential tax revenues, the Estonian authorities decided to legalize online gambling in 2010 and prohibited illegal gambling sites from offering their services to Estonians.
How to get a gambling license in Estonia?
Both individuals and legal entities can obtain an online casino license in Estonia. If an operator wants to get permission for gambling activities from the government, he must provide documents that confirm his financial situation. Also, it will be important to prove that the operator has the technical and material resources to organize gambling.
The necessary list of documents to get a gambling license
- List of company executives, as well as copies of documents that confirm their identity.
- Documents confirming payment for rent and utilities of the office.
- Income certificates.
- Detailed business plan.
- Documents confirming security equipment in a gambling establishment or on a gambling site.
- Documents confirming the payment of winnings to players.
- Information about games of chance, developers, rules of the game.
- Application for a gambling license.
Operators who meet the requirements of the jurisdiction can get a license for an online casino. Firstly, an individual or legal entity must be registered in Estonia, and the company must function according to all the laws of this country. Another essential condition is that the gambling business owners are not allowed to engage in any other entrepreneurial activity, except for the gambling business. The starting capital of the company must be at least 2 million Estonian kroons. The commission will consider an application and a package of documents for obtaining a gambling license after paying the state fee. The cost of applying for a gambling license is 3200 EUR, for a license to organize lotteries — 640 EUR. The considering an application for the organizing charity lotteries will be 130 EUR. If the Ministry of Finance approves the application, the company will have to pay the cost of the license.
The amount of taxes on gambling activities is specified in the Law on Taxes on Gambling:
- Land-based casinos — 10% of net profit.
- Online casinos and bookmakers — 5% of the total profit.
The gambling market in Estonia is very developed and very profitable for gambling business owners. All you need to do in order to launch your online casino in this region is to collect the necessary list of documents, obtain a license, develop a marketing plan, purchase high-quality gaming content and follow the laws of Estonia. However, at the initial stage, it is quite challenging to understand what documentation you should apply and arrange everything correctly. Therefore, in order to fill out and apply all documents correctly, freely obtain a gambling license and permission, buy gaming content and choose a marketing strategy, you can contact Slotegrator for help. This company will help you in legal matters and help you purchase gaming content from the most famous and best developers.