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Gambling Licence in Estonia

Gambling Licence in Estonia

Online Gambling Licence in Estonia



In Estonia online gambling is only at the first stage of its development if compared to other jurisdictions. If You're on the look for new opportunities for business expansion Estonia is certainly worth Your attention.



Developing gambling market



Although the population of Estonia doesn't even exceed 1.5 million, there are over 150 casinos and gambling rooms in Estonia. At least 80% of the adult population have gambled at least once. At the same time, online gambling industry is in the process of formation, as gambling via Internet sites has only become legal in early 2010.

The Government took this step to revive the economy after the crisis of 2008. They gave Estonian gamblers an opportunity to play online, but only at licensed sites. Any online casino that targets Estonian citizens without a special license will eventually be blocked.

This doesn't really conform to the European Community legislation, since at least operators from the EU are supposed to function in other EU countries without obtaining a license in each country. The Estonian officials claim that this is just a temporary policy and it's an essential stage on the way to a smooth and legitimate online gaming operation.



Gambling legislation



The first 2 documents to regulate the gambling industry were the Lotteries Act of 1994 and the Gambling Act of 1995. Those were important milestones on the way towards bringing things together and regulating the gaming activities. However, these Acts failed to provide any legal basis for controlling the remote gambling.

As online gambling industry grew, a new Gambling Act was introduced, but it functioned mostly in the form of a draft proposal. In fall of 2008, the new Act was eventually adopted. Another important piece of legislation is the Gambling Tax Act that spells out the taxation model for gambling companies.



Operating and activity gambling licenses



In order to operate in Estonia, all online gambling operators need to get an Estonian gambling license. This rule is applicable to both EU and non-EU residents and companies.

To be more precise, even 2 licenses are necessary – activity license and operating license.

The activity license
certifies that the applicant who wishes to organise an online gambling business in Estonia is a reliable person conforming to the requirements of the Gambling Act in the first place. If the law prescribes some specific conditions for a certain gambling activity, they should comply with those as well. The activity license is granted for an unspecified term and can't be transferred.

The operating license(or operating permit)
should be obtained before organising a specific type of gambling like lotteries, totalizators, games of chance on machines and tables etc.

Applications for licenses should be submitted to the Tax and Customs Board of Estonia.



Fees



Since there are 2 licenses that have to be obtained, each license must be paid for separately. The amount of state fees can be checked with the Tax and Customs Board

As of November 2011, state fees for the gambling license application review are as follows:
A state fee shall be paid for the review of an application for activity licence:
1. EUR 47 940 for the organizing game of chance;
2. EUR 31 960 for the organizing toto;
3. EUR 3200 for organizing games of skill.

State fee for reviewing gambling operating permit (except lottery) is 3200 EUR.
State fee for reviewing lottery operating permit is 640 EUR

If you need professional advice on gambling legislation, help in choosing the right jurisdiction or any other assistance with your business, don't hesitate to contact us for a consultation.

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