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Estonia


 

Widely considered to have one of the most highly developed IT sectors on the planet, The Republic of Estonia is a small, Nordic Island that makes up a third of the Baltic States.

 

Due to the total Estonian population numbering just a little over one million people, taxes are amongst the highest, meaning that the operators who are intending to offer services to the citizens of Estonia are usually the only applicants.


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The Gambling Tax Act

 

When the 2007 economic crisis had an impact on the Estonian economy, the decision was made by the government of the time to set an act regulated the field of online gambling, which had up until that point been illegal in the country. This act joins the Gambling Act of 2008, which regulates land based gambling in the country.

 

The regulations and licensing requirements for service providers in Estonia are strict, and that is why there are a small number of providers currently operating in the country, these include There are currently only a handful of online casinos in operation in Estonia. This includes sites like Tonybet, Maria and Unibet

 

Licenses

 

Before operating in Estonia, all necessary licenses must be sought from the Estonian tax and Customs Board.

 

There are two main licenses necessary for providers who seek to supply online gambling to the people of Estonia.

 

The first of these is an activity license, which is granted for an unspecified term, this license is non-transferable.

 

Once all necessary documentation for this license has been provided, and the applicant has passed on relevant tax checks, there is then a charge of up to nearly €48,000 for the issue of the license for organisations providing games of chance, games of skill, or totalisor plus betting (toto).

 

Once an activity license has been gained for the relevant gambling type, the provider then applies for an operating license which allows the applicant to organise a specific type of gambling. Operating licenses last for 20 years and are applicable to the three aforementioned categories.

 

Lottery games, which in this case include lotto, bingo, scratch card and keno games, can only be organised by state-owned companies for non-profits or foundations. This area is currently monopolised by Eesti Loto.

 

Regulations

 

The regulations that must be adhered to in order to operate within Estonia include:

 

  • Lottery play is restricted to those 16 years and over.
  • Totos are prohibited to anyone under the age of 18.
  • Online gambling all other categories in Estonia is limited to those over the age of 21.
  • Average winnings distributed to players must exceed 80% of the total amount spent on bets.
  • Those who organise a game of chance can only use the data entered for verification of the existence of restrictions on this game type.

 

Since the legalisation of online gambling in Estonia to assist the national economy in difficult times, Estonia has gained a reputation as one of the most highly taxed jurisdictions in the world.