Service – Practice areas – Financial Licenses in Estonia – Estonia Gambling License

Estonia Gambling License

 

Companies providing gambling services in Estonia must obtain a corresponding license issued by the Tax and Customs Department of Estonia. Also, separate activity licences are issued to organise games of chance, pari-mutuel betting, and skill games. In that way, there are several types of permits for gambling businesses, depending on the type of business. The activity licence is issued digitally and is valid without a specific term.

Gambling license in Estonia

In Estonia, online casinos can be operated only by companies that have received the necessary license from the Tax and Customs Board.

The Estonian Casino License guarantees that:

  • The casino will always be solvent, and the casino will always have enough money to pay customers immediately.
  • The casino is secure, and the customers’ personal data is used only in the prescribed manner and meets all GDPR requirements.
  • Casino is fair and doesn’t cheat players
  • The casino offers its players only games from game manufacturers that have been verified by third parties. This guarantees fair compensation for all games.
  • Players do not have to pay income tax on casino winnings

Be aware that you do not need the activity licence if you wish to form:

  • Games of skill, the only possible prize of which is the opportunity to participate in the same game again
  • Lotteries, the value of the prize pool of which is up to 1,000 EUR
  • Commercial lotteries

PACKAGE «COMPANY & GAMBLING LICENSE IN ESTONIA»

45,000 EUR

Application for a remote gaming license within Tax and Customs Department of Estonia

  • Preparation of company registration documents
  • State fee for company registration
  • Notary fees
  • Assistance to increase required share capital
  • Communication with Tax and Customs Board of Estonia
  • Analyzation of business plan and identification of license type needed
  • Submission of all required documents
  •  Documents to prove the competence of the persons involved
  • AML/KYC procedures preperation
  • Consumer protection preperation
  • Gaming rules preperation
  • Application for Activity Licence
  • Application for Operating Permit

Share capital

The initial capital for organising games of chance is a minimum of 1,000,000 EUR.

The share capital when organising pari-mutuel betting amounts to at least 130,000 EUR.

In the case of games of skills, the capital is 25,000 EUR.

Please also be aware that a company need to be registered as a public limited company or private limited company to apply for any licenses mentioned above.

Time frame

The decision usually takes between 4-6 months from documents submission. After the license is obtained, the applicant must send the necessary documents to register the gambling permit. The Department will take 2-4 months to make the decision.

Requirements

According to the government regulations, the shareholders of a gambling business must not include a person who:

  • Has a criminal record
  • Has organised gambling without an activity licence or operating permit, or has managed a company whose activity licence has been revoked due to a violation of the law
  • Has caused the insolvency of a company due to a grave error in management

Before deciding on giving an activity licence, authorities check whether the applicant for the activity licence meets the requirements established for gambling operators. The authorities also check the tax behaviour of the last three years. If applicable, the additional characteristics of the applicant for the activity licence are collected to verify the documents submitted upon application for the activity license.

According to the Estonian authorities, the following documents should be presented along with the application form:

  • Information and documents regarding the members of the management board and supervisory board of the applicant for an activity licence, including, for each person, the forename and surname, personal identification code or date of birth in the absence thereof, place of residence, a complete list of places of employment and positions, and documents that prove the trustworthiness of the members of the management board and supervisory board of the applicant for the activity licence and their conformity to the requirements of the Gambling Act, which the applicant considers essential to submit, and the information and documents specified in clause 11 (3) 2) of the Gambling Act
  • Information about the auditor of the applicant for the activity licence, including the auditor’s name, place of residence or seat, personal identification code or date of birth in the absence thereof, or registry code
  • A list of the shareholders of the applicant for the activity licence, including, for each shareholder, the name, registry code or personal identification code, or date of birth in the absence of a personal identification code, and information about the number of shares or size of the holding and the number of votes to be acquired or already held by each shareholder
  • The information and documents specified in subsection 11 (2) of the Gambling Act regarding persons who have a qualifying holding in the applicant for the activity licence

The application process also involves paying a state fee:

  • 47,940 EUR for the organisation of games of chance
  • 3,200 EUR for the organisation of games of skill
  • 31,960 EUR for the organisation of pari-mutuel betting

GAMBLING LICENSE IN ESTONIA

Period for consideration
4–6 months Annual fee for supervision No
State fee for application
31,000 – 48,000 EUR (depending on activity) Local staff member Required
Required share capital 130,000 – 1,000,000 Physical office No
Corporate income tax 5% (6% starting from 1 January 2024) Accounting audit Required

Cross-border activity

The European Union does not have set the requirements for organising gambling. It means that an activity licence acquired from another state within the European Economic Area does not grant the right to offer gambling in Estonia, which also valid vice versa. More information.

Estonian Casino Regulator

In Estonia, both online casinos and private casinos are licensed by the Estonian Tax and Customs Board (EMTA).

EMTA is also responsible for supervising Estonian casinos and ensuring the safety of your game.

Casino license in Estonia

Only casinos licensed by the Estonian Tax and Customs Board can legally operate in Estonia.

Which companies do not need to apply for a gambling license in Estonia?

Both online casinos and casinos can only operate in Estonia if they have received a license.

However, the organization of games with signs of gambling without permission is allowed in the following cases:

  • When the game is about dexterity, the only possible win is the opportunity to play the same game again.
  • If sports competitions are offered
  • If the lotteries are held, the amount of the prize pool DOES NOT EXCEED 1000 EUROS.
  • When organizing a commercial lottery, the amount of the winning fund does not exceed 10,000 euros.

If the offer of a game with gambling characteristics falls into one of the above categories, neither a gambling license nor a gambling tax is required.

A casino license issued by the Estonian Tax and Customs Board increases the credibility of the casino, and in case of an EMTA problem can also help you in such cases. For other casinos EMTA does not have this option.

At the same time, playing in a casino with an Estonian license helps to avoid such problems, as it is not easy to get an Estonian casino license, and EMTA also constantly controls casinos licensed in Estonia.

Service supports gambling businesses formation in Estonia. Please contact us and request a consultation from us today.

Games of chance online

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

In Estonia, gaming companies are controlled by three different bodies:

  1. EMTA National Oversight
  2. The Agency for Consumer Protection and Technical Supervision supervises the observance of consumer rights and in the field of advertising.
  3. The Money Laundering Data Bureau supervises money laundering.

In order for casinos to offer gambling in Estonia and Estonians, casinos must first apply for a gambling license and then for an organizational license at the Estonian Tax and Customs Board.

The European Union has agreed requirements for many things, the same in all countries. However, this does not include the organization of gambling.

Each EU country has its own rules for gambling, and they are very different from country to country.

To obtain a gambling license in the Tax and Customs Department, different categories of games have different requirements.

  1. Gambling

Gambling is a game that takes place on a game table or slot machine in which electronic, mechanical or electromechanical devices, specially made or adapted for this purpose, are necessary for determining the results, as well as for their organization. Or you need the help of the game operator (dealer).

There are also lottery tournaments and jackpot games. To obtain a gambling license, the gambling organizer (joint-stock company or limited partnership) must have at least 1,000,000 euros

in the authorized or equity capital.

  1. Sports betting

To apply for a sports betting license, the company’s authorized capital must be at least 130,000 euros.

  1. Dexterity Game

Dexterity is a game that depends largely on a player’s skills, knowledge, or physical dexterity and is played with a mechanical or electronic device.

To organize a game of dexterity, the authorized capital of the company must be at least 25,000 euros.

Requirements for Gambling Operators

In addition to the above, all gambling organizers are also required to:

  • The gambling operator must be a trusted legal entity, and gambling must be the only activity of the company.
  • The owners or members of the management bodies of the organization organizing gambling may not include persons previously prosecuted, Gambling without a valid license to operate or who have lost a license to operate in connection with a violation of laws. Nor may persons who have caused the insolvency of a society be included in the administration.
  • Before issuing a gambling license, the applicant’s tax conduct for the previous three years is also checked and the documents submitted are correct and the applicant’s reliability is checked.

To apply for a gambling license in Estonia you need:

  • Provide all necessary data and documents on the applicant’s board and board members
  • Provide information about the auditor of the applicant of the business license
  • Provide a complete list of shareholders or shareholders of the company and more information about these shares
  • You can submit an application after you have digitally signed emta@emta.ee or hasart@emta.ee. You can do it by mail if you wish.
  • The State duty must also be paid before the application is submitted.

State fee for the submission of an application for a gaming license

Before submitting an application for a gaming license, you must pay the state fee, the amount of the state fee is depending on the category of the game:

  • gambling organization – 47,940 euros
  • organizing a game of dexterity – 3200 euros
  • toto organization – 31,960 euros

This state duty is used to consider the application for a license, and if the review does not lead to the issuance of a gambling license, the refund of the state duty is unlikely to be carried out.

As a rule, the Tax and Customs Board sends an initial response within three working days.

The decision to license the gambling business is taken no later than four months after receipt of all the necessary documents. But not later than six months after receipt of the initial application for permission to operate.

Since the adoption of the Gambling Act in 2009, only casinos authorized by the Estonian Tax and Customs Board can operate in Estonia.

Other casinos may not operate in Estonia or offer services to Estonian citizens.

Blocked Gambling Providers

EMTA constantly blocks access to those gambling sites that are available in Estonia, but do not have the necessary permission to organize gambling.

Pages offering gambling are blocked in Estonia with the help of Internet providers. This means that these pages cannot be accessed from an Estonian IP address.

In order to organize and offer online gambling to Estonian residents, the service provider needs to obtain two different licenses. First, a company needs a license that proves it’s operating legally in the country. This license is valid for five years. The second license gives the provider the right to gamble in the country and is valid for ten years.

Gambling and gaming providers who wish to work in Estonia must obtain a gambling license. Regardless of whether the operator is from the European Union or not, he must obtain a license. There are special requirements for obtaining this license.

Service providers wishing to purchase a gambling license in Estonia must provide documentary proof of their fixed capital, which must be at least one million euros. They are also expected to provide written evidence of misconduct in the gambling business and no criminal record.

Also, the gambling company must comply with the laws of Estonia and undertake to engage in gambling only within the country. The gambling license fee is EUR 50,000 and is not transferable.

The Estonian gaming industry is open to global gambling providers, but to do this, service providers must obtain an operator license before offering services in their field. Gambling providers without a government license are blocked by the ISP. As for games, all games offered by a licensed gaming platform are available in Estonia – there are no restrictions on the type of game people can bet on. Some of the popular games available on licensed gaming platforms include poker, lotteries, sports betting, and horse racing, among others.

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