For years, gambling was illegal in Estonia. This was because the country was one of the states in the USSR. During that era, gambling was prohibited throughout all the Soviet territories.
After obtaining independence, Estonian officials were quick and unanimous in legalizing gambling. They figured that revenues from the industry’s taxes would be of immense value for the recovering economy. The Lottery Act went live in 1994, with the Gambling Act following in 1995. Of course, back then these two pieces of legislation were focused on land-based gambling as the online one was still non-existent in the mid-’90s.
However, when the boom of online gambling reached players in Estonia, the local government was quick to react. It amended the Gambling Act in 2010 by including all the online betting activities, legalizing them, and providing proper regulations for players and businesses. Understanding of the online gambling industry and the revenues from the taxes helped the country survive the turbulent years after the world financial crisis hit.
License required for all casinos
Some casinos blocked
|Land-based||Online, operator||Online, player||ISP|
||Legal||License required for all casinos||Administrative penalty||Some casinos blocked||Not Restricted||---||
SO, WHAT’S ALLOWED IN ESTONIA?
Under the state amendments to the Gambling Act, Estonia supports the local online operators as well as issues state licenses for international providers. Estonian Tax and Customs Board is the authority officially in charge of the procedure.
There are 2 types of licenses. The first one is called the activity license and it is aimed to establish the company’s reliability. Next, the company applies for an operating license. This one focuses on the types of games that can be distributed via the website in question. The tax on net profit for the licensed operators is very lenient – it is only 5%. Players need to pay a tax of 18% on lottery winnings. Casino and Sportsbook wins are free from tax.
Estonian Tax and Customs Board approves the companies that comply with the requirements and are ready to pay the license fee and taxes and blacklists the websites that do not have local permits. The last time we checked, the state’s blacklist contained about 800 domains.
Because the country has built such a smart system of regulations, players do not feel the urge to look for questionable sites. At the same time, the flow of international and established providers into the country is stronger than ever. Our database alone shows more than 400 great online operators friendly to traffic from Estonia.
The competition is high, and the Estonians already have a list of top-5 of the most preferred casinos. These are Optibet, TonyBet, Chanz, Kings Win Casino, and Ninja Casino, according to our research.
In addition to Estonia-licensed sites, there are lots of great operators licensed by the jurisdiciton of Curacao that accept players from the reviewed country.