Gambling trends in Baltics

  • 2023-03-14

Online Gambling in the Baltic States is on the rise. And has been for the past decade. During the corona years this trend gained momentum while now the revenues have stalled due to financial difficulties affecting all of us. 

It is a notable trend that the number of land-based casinos in Estonia has decreased year-by-year. On the other hand, some sports betting shops have popped-up featuring fancy establishments with drinks, food, entertainment and betting options for sports. 

Estonian Gambling history 

Not too long ago Estonia had to decide if they wanted to become tax-haven for the gambling operators. Politicians chose the more conservative approach and tax rates have remained at moderate levels. It is clear that Estonia will not be able to offer the same tax-benefits for operators like Malta, Curacao or Cyprus. At least not in the near future. 

Estonia still has some competitive edge thanks to the close proximity to the gambling pioneers Sweden, Netherlands, Finland and UK. 

Gambling regulation 

Latvian casino industry has been a great example of how the state is taking control over consumer protection. It is well-known that online gambling is an integral part of the gaming industry. Nevertheless, there are always restrictions for the operators in place. 

When it comes to gambling in Latvia one of the most important rules is that bonuses with wagering requirements are not allowed. Instead, operators have come up with risk free spins. Estonia and Lithuania have a little less regulation. Also, Scandinavian countries allow gambling with some restrictions. 


Recently there has been a lot of fuss over gambling advertising in Estonia. Estonia partially bans gambling ads but you can see big posters everywhere on the streets. Especially for the new casino platforms which desperately need to grow their player base. 

There are limited ways to promote the brand name and services for the casinos and bookies. Therefore, creative solutions are being implemented. 

In Estonia media it has been discussed over the moral aspect of featuring the names of the gambling giants like Unibet, OlyBet, Optibet in the names of sports clubs and sport facilities. 

Government institutions have said that they do not see the problem promoting the brand name as long as there is no initiative to take part in the betting activity. This remains the gray area for years to come and regulators will have a lot of work to do banning illegal gambling and ads.