In Estonia, arcades hold the same status as casinos when it comes to calculating revenues, as the country’s legislation defines them both as “games of chance operators”. The term 'casino' does not actually appear in the country’s Gambling Act.
Casino operators must hold an activity licence and an operating permit.
The Ministry of Finance and the Tax and Customs board are the regulatory bodies responsible for the oversight of land-based casinos. In January 2016, amendments to legislation extended the application of player self-exclusion lists to lottery and sports-betting.
Estonian land-based gambling venues were forced to close during parts of 2020 and 2021 in response to COVID-19. However, the Ministry of Finance has actively pursued legislation that provides a retrospective tax relief for gambling tables, slot machines and skill games machines in venues that were forced to close for 24 hours a day.
Gambling-related laws in Estonia have not changed significantly in recent years and no major changes are expected in the foreseeable future.
A 2019 study revealed 50 percent of the population between the ages of 15-74 has gambled in the past two years, compared with 66 percent when a similar study was released in 2017.
The Gambling Act 2009 also regulated online gambling for the first time under Estonian law. The latest figures shared by the Estonian Tax and Customs Board show online gross gaming revenue (GGR) grew from €60.2m in 2019 to €78.13m in 2020.
Additionally, land-based slots GGR was only €36.75m in 2020 compared with €52.45m in 2019 as a result of land-based gambling venue closures in the spring and part of December.
Those under the age of 21 are not allowed to enter a casino or work directly with games of chance in casinos.
A player protection programme has been established according to the law and includes a self-exclusion programme.
A database of excluded people is operated and maintained according to the statutes of the Tax and Customs Board and the Ministry of Finance.
Players can place themselves on the list and become excluded from casinos for a period of six months to three years.
Information included on the database includes the player’s name, personal ID code, or, if not present, date of birth and a photo.
Operators are obliged to establish an adequate system to ensure that persons on the list are not permitted to play games of chance.
Organisers of games of chance are prohibited from processing the data on the list for the purposes of direct marketing, or to transfer the data to third parties.
Since 2016 the player protection programme has also been widened to include sports betting and lotteries.
Organization: Gambling addiction counselling
More information about the self-exclude is posted on the Tax Board website. www.emta.ee/index.php
Problem Gambling Prevention Policies: Estonia’s 2009 Gambling Act contains a number of general requirements for gambling organisers, obliging them to:
Display rules of play;
Display clear warnings regarding the addictiveness of gambling;
Conduct staff training on gambling addiction awareness
Put in place fraud prevention measures;
Restrict access to those not entitled to enter/participate, such as those less than 21 years of age for games of chance and 16 years of age for lotteries;
Ensure safety and public order.
Legal Gambling Age: 21 Years Old
Smoking Ban: Yes. The law, however, allows for the establishment of designated smoking areas.
Terrestrial:Multiple licences (currently 5)
Online: Multiple licences (not capped)
Terrestrial:The Gambling Act does not define casino games; it only gives the definition of games of chance.
Online:The Gambling Act defines online gaming as separate serving method with some procedurally different requirements, therefore most parts of the Gambling Act applies similarly to both offline and online gambling.
Size of Illegal Gambling Market:There is no illegal gambling or its effect is very small.
Market Protection Measures / Tools to Tackle Illegal Gambling:Payment blocking, website blocking and advertising restrictions to be used against unlicensed operators are all available sanctions.
Currency : Euro
(Source:The World Bank)
GNI (2014, Local Currency, Millions): 19,153
Internet Penetration (Internet Users):84.2%
(Source: The World Bank)
Mobile Penetration (Mobile Cellular Subscriptions): 161%
(Source: The World Bank)
Doing Business Ranking (June 2015):16
(Source: World Bank Group)
Last Updated: May 2019