On January 2, 2010, Estonia introduced a regulatory system for online gambling, which is controlled by the Estonian Tax and Customs Board and is covered by the Gambling Act 2009. Estonians were prohibited from playing on gambling sites not locally licensed. Olympic Entertainment Group was the first land-based operator issued an online gaming license. Olympic opted for Playtech as its partner and offered more than 150 casino games including online poker.
In 2011, Estonia opened the online gaming market to offshore operators offering limited access to Estonian customers. Foreign companies could apply for a license, pay the appropriate taxes. and transfer their software to an Estonian-based server. There are five operators that have been issued a remote gambling license: Olympic Casino Eesti AS, Triogames OU (Triobet), EEL Estonia Ltd (pokerstars), IMG Kasiinod AS, and Pafer AS. Once the online market was legalized, Estonia started blocking unlicensed gambling sites offering their services to Estonian citizens. If any user attempted to access a foreign-based gambling site, they were automatically directed to the Estonian Tax and Customer Department. Service providers were liable to face fines up to 40,000 Krones for not carrying out the tasks. Other attempts have included blocking bank transfers as well as advertisement restrictions.
Operators must obtain an activity and operating license and pay a licensing fee to launch legal online gambling websites available to Estonian citizens. The activity license verifies the company is reliable and will conform to the requirements of the Gambling Act. It is nontransferrable and granted for an unspecified amount of time. The operating license relates to the specific online games offered, is issued for up to five years, and is required before services can be initiated. Online gaming licenses can be obtained through the Estonian Tax and Customs Board. Operators pay a 5 percent tax on the gross gambling yield.
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Ministry of Finance of Estonia
+372 611 3664
+372 611 3558
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