gambling license estonia

Gambling License in Estonia

Gambling companies are legally allowed to operate in Estonia. Due to the progressive legislation, the possibility to work on the European market, and low taxes, it is quite a popular and promising jurisdiction for operators. However, obtaining an Estonia Gaming license can be quite a time-consuming process. If you want to pass licensing with a guaranteed result in 4 months – contact the experts of Gofaizen & Sherle

Estonia has legislation allowing companies specializing in gambling to operate legally in the market, provided that certain criteria are met. The main requirements for such companies include not only having an impeccable business reputation but also obtaining an Estonian gambling license, which confirms their right to engage in this type of activity.

Gambling regulation in Estonia is supervised by the Estonian Tax and Customs Board (EMTA). Estonia has a legislative framework that makes it a priority for gambling operators. There are two types of licenses in this country: an operating license and a service license. These licenses allow to provide Gambling services in Estonia and the EU.

The main law regulating this area is the Gambling Act of 2009. To obtain a Gaming license in Estonia, a gambling operator must meet several conditions, including registration of a legal entity, compliance with technical requirements, adherence to responsible gambling rules, and AML policies.

Effective application and understanding of the legal framework will help companies to complete the licensing process and operate within the Estonian gambling legislation. Operators need to keep abreast of any changes in legislation to maintain compliance with all Estonian gambling rules and regulations.

Advantages of obtaining a gambling license in Estonia

Estonia offers gambling operators several advantages:

  • Prestigious jurisdiction
    Estonia Online Gambling License increases trust among players and confirms compliance with the high standards of the gambling industry. EMTA regulation and supervision guarantee transparency and responsibility of operators.
  • Stability and prospects
    Estonia is a member of the European Union, which guarantees economic stability and high standards of regulation. Operators will be able to enter the big European market, increasing their customer base and cooperating with European banks.
  • Innovative technologies
    Estonia has a well-developed infrastructure, the jurisdiction has a progressive view on digital solutions, and provides all companies with high-speed internet and innovative technologies to guarantee stable operation and safe gaming.

Request more information about the Estonia Gambling license

Requirements for a gambling license in Estonia

According to the legal framework on Estonian gaming license, the shareholders of a gambling enterprise must include persons who:

  • Possess an impeccable reputation;
  • Have not been involved in gambling without the necessary license or without obtaining separate permits, and have no experience in managing a company that has had its license revoked for non-compliance with regulatory rules;
  • Proved their competence in management by preventing the company from being driven into bankruptcy.

Joint stock companies or limited liability partnerships may apply for licenses for various gambling activities, provided that a minimum amount of capital is reached and the state fee is paid:

  • For games of chance: authorized capital of at least €1 000 000, a state fee of €47 940.
  • For totalizators: authorized capital of not less than 130 000 euros, state duty – 3200 euros.
  • For games of skill: authorized capital not less than 25 000 euros, state duty – 31 960 euros.

Before issuing an Estonian gambling license, the Estonian authorities will carry out several checks:

  • A detailed analysis of whether the company complies with the established requirements for gambling.
  • a study of the company’s financial activity over the last three years to assess its financial reliability.
  • If necessary, additional information about the applicant is collected to confirm its credibility and good reputation.

Types of gambling licenses in Estonia

To provide gambling services in Estonia, you need to obtain a gambling license. The jurisdiction offers 2 types of licenses:

Activity license

This type of license is intended for operators who provide their services as online casinos, lotteries, sports betting, bingo, etc. During licensing, companies need to specify the types of games they are going to place on the gaming platform.

The period for issuing the license is 4 months.

This license is issued for an indefinite period.

The cost of the state fee at the time of application is 47940 euros.

Please note, the Tax and Customs Department may at any time request an independent expert assessment of the compliance of the software used for online gambling.

An activity license entails several major categories of gaming, each with unique rules and taxation systems:

Games of chance

In this category, games rely on chance and are played on various gaming platforms such as gaming tables and machines. Examples of games of chance include various types of slot machines, roulette, keno, lotteries, bingo, and other similar gambling activities. In these games, the player places a bet and waits for a random outcome that may result in a win or loss.

Taxation for slot machine games is €300 +10% of winnings, while for gaming table games it is €1,278.23 per table, 5% for tournament participation fees.

Lotteries

Lotteries are one of the main types of gambling in which participants can buy lottery tickets or tickets with numbers, with the possibility of winning prizes. The results of lotteries are determined randomly, and winners are chosen at random from all tickets purchased.

This category includes both instant and classic lotteries. The size of the prize fund depends on the price of lottery tickets and is up to 80% of this price. Within one lottery it is possible to select winners no more than 3 times within 24 hours or after the lottery ticket field has been opened.

Taxation is 18% of the total ticket sales.

Totos

A popular game in this category is sports betting. The operator’s or player’s actions do not affect the outcome, the prize will depend on how accurately the player predicted the outcome. The winnings are defined as the bet before the game or the equivalent of the number of all bets.

Tax, less the prize, is 5% of betting revenue.

Games of skill

In this category, the prize depends on the skill and ability of the players. Examples of games of skill may include various types of sports betting, chess, board games, slot machines, sports that require precision and dexterity, and other games where success does not depend on chance.

The tax for slot machine games is €31.95 per machine.

Remote gambling

Remote gambling, also known as online gambling, provides a unique opportunity for players to participate in gambling via the Internet using a variety of electronic communication devices. This allows them to wager money on a variety of gambling games and get results virtually, without leaving their homes or visiting physical gambling halls or casinos. Online gambling includes a variety of formats such as online casinos, sports betting, poker rooms, lotteries, and roulette games, as well as interactive games with live dealers and more.

The tax for remote gaming is 5% of winnings.

Operating license

Issued to companies providing software, platforms, and infrastructure for gambling. The granted permit allows operators to provide services to other licensed participants or act as technology providers. The operating license plays a key role in the development and operation of the gambling industry in Estonia.

The term for issuing the license is 4 months.

The validity period is 5 years.

The cost of the state fee at the time of application is 3200 euros.

Find more information about the Estonia Gambling license

Gambling Lawyers in Estonia

Leonid Turok

Position

Senior Associate, Head of Sales (FX and iGaming)
Kiryl Zaremba

Position

Senior Associate, Business Development Manager

Process of obtaining a Gambling license in Estonia

The process of obtaining an Estonia Gaming license involves the following steps:

  1. You must be registered as a legal entity in Estonia or the EU.
  2. Confirm the authorized capital of the company for at least 1,000,000 euros (capital for organizing games of chance). Please note that the initial capital also depends on the types of games that your company organizes. If your games are based on the principles of betting – the authorized capital should be from 130.000 euros. Games of skill – from 25.000 euros.
  3. Confirm the absence of criminal records of key persons.
  4. Collect a package of documents:
    • copies of the passports of the founders
    • confirmation of the place of registration of key persons
    • certificates of the absence of criminal records
    • list of shareholders with their data
    • copy of the company’s charter
    • information on gambling equipment
    • elaborated security measures for players
    • bank statements
    • software information and gaming rules
  5. Non-resident companies must register with the Tax and Customs Board before applying.
  6. Pay the government fee.
  7. Correctly fill out the license application and submit it to EMTA. It must include the following information:
    • Information about the applicant, including his name and registration code;
    • Location address and contact details of the applicant;
    • Indication of the type of gambling to be organized;
    • Signature, name, and title of the person completing the application;
    • Date of payment of the state fee.
  8. The regulator gives a preliminary answer within 3 days and may request additional documents. The period for obtaining a license is 4 months.
  9. If all the previous steps have been completed correctly, you will receive a license for Gambling in Estonia.

Necessary documents to obtain a license

To successfully apply for a license, the following information and documentation must be provided:

Information about the governing body and board:

  • Provide each member’s full name, personal identification number, or, if unavailable, date of birth, and residence.
  • Provide a complete list of places of employment and positions held.
  • Add documents proving reliability and compliance with gambling legislation.

Auditor Information:

  • Include the auditor’s name, residence, personal identification number, or, if none, date of birth and registration code.

List of shareholders:

  • Provide full name, registration or personal identification code, or if absent, date of birth, and information on the amount and number of votes attached to the shares.

Additionally, if the application is submitted on behalf of a business association that has not yet completed the incorporation process, a memorandum of association or a resolution of incorporation confirmed by a notary public or a document with similar legal force is required.

Fees for obtaining a license

Obtaining a Gaming license in Estonia implies certain requirements to pay state fees to cover administrative costs. Each operator must contribute to the development of the gambling sector to help maintain a stable business ecosystem. To calculate the estimate of your project, pay attention to the following fees:

  • The registration fee covers the regulator’s administrative costs in reviewing the application and verifying the data. It depends on the type and volume of gambling activities and ranges from 3,200 to 48,000.
  • The annual license fee is paid after the regulator approves the licensing. The amount of the license fee depends on the type of gambling activity. For example, for online casinos, it ranges from 47,940 to 190,000 euros per year.
  • Licensed operators pay an annual supervision fee covering the ongoing regulatory control, monitoring, and operation of the licensing regulatory system. The amount of this fee depends on the nature of the gambling activity.

Taxation of gambling in Estonia

Every gambling company holding a Gaming license in Estonia must declare its profits and pay taxes. This is a mandatory requirement to operate in this jurisdiction.

The operator must submit a declaration to the Estonian Tax and Customs Board (EMTA) and pay the tax by the 15th day of each calendar month.

Operators must submit declarations that relate to the types of games they conduct. EMTA provides 9 types of declarations for different categories.

Tax rates

  • 20% – corporate income.
  • 300 euros from each slot machine slot machine on which games of chance are played
  • 10% of the total number of bets on a slot machine with deduction of winnings
  • 1,278.23 euros from each gaming table
  • 5% of the total amount of bets of remote games
  • 5% of the total amount of contributions when organizing tournaments
  • 5% on the organization of sports betting with deduction of winnings
  • 18% on lottery ticket sales
  • 31.95 per machine for skill games

Rules and Regulations for Gaming in Estonia

The gambling sector in Estonia is regulated by the Estonian Tax and Customs Board (EMTA). Its mandate includes supervision of the gambling business to ensure transparency and honesty of operators, which can affect the image of the whole jurisdiction. EMTA reviews licensing applications, and issues and revokes Gaming licenses in case of violation of Estonian legislation. In addition, the department monitors the tax system and ensures a favorable environment for businesses to meet customs and tax obligations.

The main law that sets requirements for operators is the Gambling Act. The Government adopted it in 2009 and since then it has been amended to facilitate the development of the gambling sector in the country.

According to § 9, paragraph 1 of the Estonian Gambling Act, the right to provide services related to gambling is granted to legal entities that meet the requirements of the Estonian Gambling Act and have the relevant license.

This law also establishes requirements for operators, licensing procedures, technical requirements, player protection rules, taxation, and other aspects of the legal framework aimed at creating a fair and transparent gaming industry.

Also, the functioning of the gambling sector in Estonia falls under the following laws:

Potential Reasons for Denial

The Estonian gaming license may be withheld or revoked for several reasons:

1 If it is found that the applicant has provided false information affecting the decision to issue the license or has refused to conduct business activities.

  1. Serious or repeated violations of duties established by law, conducting gambling without proper authorization, and failure to comply with the requirements of the law.
  2. If the licensee did not have valid permits for organizing games during the year or did not engage in their conduct without a valid reason.
  3. Failure to comply with the requirements of law enforcement agencies, unless such order has been set aside by the court.
  4. Willful violation of tax laws, bankruptcy of the company due to management errors, or violations of the law by shareholders.
  5. Involvement in money laundering or multiple violations of AML rules.
  6. Having criminal convictions among shareholders or board members or having previous gambling violations that resulted in license revocation.

FAQ about obtaining a gaming license in Estonia

How do I get a gambling license in Estonia?

To obtain a gambling license in Estonia, it is necessary to register a legal entity, confirm the share capital, meet all the requirements of the regulator, pay the state duty, and submit a package of documents together with the application to the Estonian Tax and Customs Board (EMTA).

How much does it cost to get a gambling license in Estonia?

The final cost of the license depends on the type of license, the types of games provided, and your project. The state fees when the application is reviewed by the regulator are 31960 € for betting games, 3200 € for games depending on the player’s dexterity, classic gambling – 47940 €,

How long does it take to get a gambling license in Estonia?

The term for obtaining an Estonia Online Gambling License is 4 months, but you can get a preliminary answer about the possibility of licensing in 3 working days.

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