Estonian Casino Licence

  • 2023-08-04

Any firm aiming to offer gambling facilities within Estonia's borders needs to acquire a relevant licence. This licence is given out by the Estonian Tax and Customs Department (EMTA), distinguishing between the permits necessary for various types of gambling enterprises such as games of chance, pari-mutuel betting, and skill games. Consequently, the selection of the licence depends on the specific business activity. It should be noted that the activity licence is provided digitally, with no definite expiry date.

Advantages of a gambling licence in Estonia

The operation of online casinos in Estonia is exclusively reserved for companies that have secured the necessary licence from the Tax and Customs Board. The advantages associated with the Estonian Casino Licence include:

- Guaranteed solvency of the casino, ensuring it always has sufficient funds to promptly pay its customers.

- Ensured security of the casino, whereby customers' personal data is handled strictly according to the required methods, meeting all GDPR standards.

- Assurance of fair play, with the casino being prohibited from cheating its players.

- Assurance of game fairness, where only games produced by verified manufacturers are offered, ensuring fair compensation across all games.

- Casino winnings being exempt from income tax for players.

It's important to note that acquiring an activity licence is unnecessary if your intentions include the creation of:

- Games of skill, where the sole prize is the chance to play the game again.

Lotteries, with a prize pool not exceeding 1,000 EUR.

Commercial lotteries.

How to obtain a gambling licence in Estonia?


- A licence to organise games of chance is only applicable to public or private limited companies, with a minimum share capital of 1,000,000 euros.

- Licences for pari-mutuel betting organisation can only be applied for by public or private limited companies, having a minimum share capital of 130,000 euros.

- A licence to organise games of skill is only applicable to public or private limited companies with a share capital of at least 25,000 euros.

- Gambling operators must be reliable legal entities, with their exclusive business activity being the organisation of gambling.

Shareholders of a gambling operator should not include individuals who:

- Have a criminal record.

- Have organised gambling without an activity licence or operating permit, or managed a company whose activity licence was revoked due to legal violations.

- Have caused a company's insolvency because of a significant managerial error.

Before granting an activity licence, checks are performed to ensure that the applicant meets the requirements set for gambling operators. This includes reviewing their tax behaviour over the past three years, collecting additional information if necessary, and verifying the documents submitted during the application for the activity licence and the trustworthiness and reputation of the applicant.


There is no universal set of requirements regarding gambling organisation within the European Union. This implies that an activity licence obtained from another state within the European Economic Area does not give the right to offer gambling in Estonia and vice versa.

Application Procedure for an Estonian Casino Licence

In your quest for an Estonian casino licence, the application process requires the submission of a completed form and the following:

Information and documentation related to the management board and supervisory board members of the licence applicant. This includes everyone’s full name, personal identification code or birthdate (if the former is not available), residential address, comprehensive employment history and positions held, and any documents that demonstrate the credibility and compliance of these members with the Gambling Act's stipulations. 

Information about the licence applicant's auditor, including their name, residential address or office location, personal identification code or birthdate (if the former is not available), or registry code.

A list of the licence applicant's shareholders, detailing each shareholder's name, registry code or personal identification code, or birthdate (in the absence of a personal identification code), plus data on the number of shares or size of the stake and the number of votes already possessed or to be acquired by each shareholder.

If you are setting up a new company, please include either the foundation agreement, foundation resolution, or a notarised or equivalently validated copy of one of these documents with your application. A licence granted to a newly formed company will only become effective once the company acquires legal capacity.

The review of an Estonian casino licence application incurs a state fee:

- 47,940 euros for organising games of chance.

- 3,200 euros for organising skill games.

- 31,960 euros for organising pari-mutuel betting.

These fees should be transferred to one of the Ministry of Finance's bank accounts.

Application Assessment

The Tax and Customs Board will deliver an initial response no later than the third business day following the application's submission.

A decision to either grant or deny the activity licence will be made within four months of receiving all necessary documents and information, or within six months from the receipt of the licence application at the latest.

Notification of the issuance of an activity licence will be sent via email. The activity licence, which is issued electronically, comes without a set term.

Taxation on Gambling in Estonia

Companies holding an Estonia casino licence are subject to varying tax rates depending on their specific gambling activities. Here is a snapshot of the tax requirements for such companies:

- For games of chance, including slot machines and table games, companies are taxed at 5% on net winnings, defined as the difference between total player bets and total payout.

- Lottery enterprises attract an 18% tax on total ticket sales. If a commercial lottery is organised with a prize pot exceeding EUR 10,000, it attracts an 18% tax.

- Sports betting companies face a 5% tax on income from bets after deducting winnings.

- Skill-based game providers are taxed at EUR 31.95 per gaming machine.

Remote gambling platforms like online casinos or betting websites pay a 5% tax on net earnings from such activities.

Adherence to these tax regulations is mandatory, requiring companies to ensure accurate tax reporting and payment to the EMTA. Any failure to fulfil these obligations may result in penalties and legal repercussions.

For the most up-to-date tax information, it is recommended to check the Estonian Tax and Customs Board's latest regulations and guidelines.

Estonia's reputation for embracing innovation and digital advancements benefits the gambling sector, creating a conducive environment for technological upgrades and the implementation of modern solutions. Operators can leverage this ecosystem to enhance their platforms and user experience.

In summary, operating in Estonia with a local casino licence provides numerous advantages to operators, from increased legitimacy and access to the vast EU market, to favorable taxation, digital proficiency, and robust consumer protection. An Estonia casino licence positions operators as trustworthy, compliant, and competitive players in the global gambling industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is gambling legal in Estonia?

As per the Gambling Act, Estonia permits gambling operations, given the relevant licences are in place. Specifically, a legal entity can arrange games of chance, totalisers, or skill games only when equipped with both an activity license and an operating permit for gambling.

What are the tax obligations for gambling in Estonia?

The tax structure for gambling in Estonia is set for a rise, with a 10% increase for gaming table taxes, and the lottery tax rate ascending from 18% to 22%. These tax enhancements are projected to generate an additional revenue stream, yielding approximately €8m in 2024 and 2025, €12m in 2026, and €13m in 2027.

What can lead to the refusal of a casino license in Estonia?

The Estonia Tax and Customs Department has the authority to deny a casino license application under certain conditions such as:

- criminal convictions or punishments involving shareholders, board members, or directors;

- previous illegal activities or violations in the gambling sector leading to a license revocation;

- a company's bankruptcy due to managerial errors or legal violations by shareholders.

Is the Estonia casino license reliable?

Owing to robust scrutiny and regular supervision by competent authorities, Estonia maintains a reputable standing for its gambling business. The Estonia casino license is hence deemed reliable.

What is the process to obtain a gambling license in Estonia?

The procedure to obtain an Estonia casino license involves various steps such as registering an office in Estonia, formulating a business plan with three-year financial forecasts, and integrating with the Tax and Customs Board's servers.

What is the cost of a gambling license in Estonia?

The state fees for processing an application for an Estonia casino license are: €31960 for betting; €47940 for games of chance; and €3200 for games of skill.

What is the duration to acquire a Estonian gambling license?

Post submission of the required documents, the Department typically takes about four months to issue or refuse a license. However, the decision-making process can extend up to a maximum period of six months.

Who regulates gambling operations in Estonia?

The Estonian Tax and Customs Board oversees the regulation of all gambling entities in Estonia.

Is cryptocurrency acceptable for deposits with an Estonian license?

The Estonia casino license allows the acceptance of cryptocurrency for gambling. The Estonian Tax and Customs Board recognises virtual currency as legitimate.

How can one verify an Estonia casino license?

Verification of an Estonia casino license can be conducted through the Estonian Tax and Customs Board's web platform,, where the relevant section provides the necessary details.