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How to obtain a gambling license in Estonia?

How to obtain a gambling license in Estonia?.

Estonia is a small Baltic country located in Northern Europe and is well-known for its progressive policies, technological advancement, and transparent regulatory frameworks. 

One area where Estonia stands out is its approach to the gambling industry. With a robust system in place, obtaining a gambling license in Estonia is a meticulous process that ensures fair play, consumer protection, and responsible gaming. In this article, we will guide you through the steps of obtaining a gambling license in Estonia.

Benefits of obtaining a gambling license in Estonia

Holding a gambling license in Estonia signifies the commitment to legally-operated, regulated, and transparent gambling operations. This, in turn, cultivates a sense of trust among players, assuring them that the gambling activities are conducted within the bounds of the law and adhere to stringent ethical standards. 

The main benefits of Estonian license are as follows: 

  • Estonia offers a full license obtained directly from the regulator (not a sublicense, unlike the jurisdiction of Curacao)
  • For a project with a European license, great opportunities open up in the world of banks, payment systems and processing
  • It is possible to work with the best game providers on the most favorable terms
  • You get a Estonian gambling license, which significantly increases your prestige and reputation in the international gambling market

Types of licenses

Licensing is a two-step process consisting of (a) an activity license, and (b) an operating permit.

  • Activity license is issued to an applicant meeting the requirements to organize gambling activities;
  • Operating permit is issued to the activity license holder and is related to a particular venue or website where the gambling operations shall be organized.

Only gambling operators (B2C) are subject to licensing in Estonia. Each B2C operator should obtain both an activity license and an operating permit.

Please note: Separate activity licenses are issued to organize games of chance, pari-mutuel betting, and skill games  (separate fees are applied for each application). Operators can apply for multiple activity licenses if they plan to offer different types of gambling activities. For example, an operator may choose to apply for licenses covering both online casino games and sports betting.

Requirements for obtaining a gambling license in Estonia

The issue of activity licenses and operating permits for gambling and lotteries is the responsibility of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board (ETCB). This body is engaged in issuing licenses in accordance with the main document regulating the gambling – Gambling Act. 

Here is the overview of the basic requirements set by ETCB:

  • The minimum share capital of the company requirement;
  • Shareholders/Members of the board with no criminal record and a good reputation;
  • Gambling shall be the only field of activity of the company;
  • Non-resident companies must register with the Estonian Tax and Customs Board as non-resident taxpayers before submitting an application;
  • Compliance with responsible gambling and anti-money laundering protocols;
  • It is required to employ at least one local staff member to meet regulatory requirements;
  • The gambling operator shall form an additional reserve from the annual net profit;
  • Annually conduct a mandatory audit of the annual accounting (financial) statements;
  • Operators must meet the technical requirements set by EMTA;
  • The server used for gambling purposes must be in Estonia.

The decision usually takes between 4-6 months from document submission. After the activity license is obtained, the applicant must send the necessary documents to register the operating permit. The Estonian Tax and Customs Board will take 2-4 months to make the decision.

Cost of a gambling license in Estonia

The application process involves paying a state fee for the Activity license:

  • 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

Also, it is needed to pay a 3200 EUR state fee to obtain an Operating permit.  

Conclusion

In conclusion, Estonia offers a conducive environment for the success and growth of gambling businesses. By obtaining a gambling license in Estonia, operators can establish themselves as reputable, compliant, and competitive players in the global gambling industry.

Securing a gambling license in Estonia demands expertise and precision. At SBSB Fintech Lawyers, we specialize in simplifying this intricate process for you. Contact SBSB Fintech Lawyers today, and let us pave the way for your success in the Estonian gambling industry.