How are the Baltic States Helping to Drive the iGaming Industry Forward?

  • 2023-03-30

The iGaming market is growing around the world at an astonishing pace. It’s already worth more than $63 billion (€58 billion), and it’s expected to be valued at $145 billion (€133 billion) by 2030. Countries around the world have adapted to this rise and have taken advantage of it in numerous ways. The Baltic States have been welcoming of the online casino industry, and the market is flourishing in these regions. Indeed, Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia are helping to drive iGaming forward.

Lithuania Big on Virtual Betting

One of the most striking things about the online casino market in Lithuania is how much focus has gone into virtual betting. This is one of the greatest areas of growth for the industry globally in recent years, with Canada’s sector being a prime example. For example, 888, a top online casino Canada, has a sprawling section of the site dedicated to live casino games. There are more than 25 titles to choose from, so they are separated into subcategories. These include roulette, blackjack, poker, baccarat and game shows. Some of the top titles include Jet Set Racing Roulette Live and Crazy Coin Flip. More games are being added every year as well, as increase in live casino games continues to boom. 

The iGaming market in Lithuania has been regulated by the 2001 Gaming Law, which was recently amended to get in line with the rise of live-streaming options at online casinos. In 2020, the Gaming Law began to include virtual betting, meaning that the country has been able to keep up with the changing times. It’s also in a good position now to cater to the demands of a wide variety of players.

Since the move towards this new legislation, several innovative companies in the country have invested heavily in live experiences. These brands are also helping make the country a more desirable place for start-ups to operate in.

One of the best-known players in the iGaming sector from Lithuania is BetGames.TV. It publishes a range of live dealer games including baccarat, poker, and War of Bets. The company is clearly aiming to offer traditional titles alongside more innovative options. 

Some other iGaming developers that operate in Lithuania include software companies like SoftGamings and ConnectPay. The latter is a financial services platform that provides payment solutions for online casinos. The former is another studio that has capitalized on the rise of live streaming in the country. The fact that these companies can thrive highlights just how fertile the iGaming landscape is in Lithuania.

Estonia Has Witnessed Strong Growth

Estonia has witnessed incredible growth in its iGaming industry over the last few years. This was highlighted by reports from the Estonian Tax and Customs Board, which noted that the market expanded by more than 18 million euros between 2019 and 2020. Indeed, it grew from €60.2 million in 2019 to €78.13 in 2020. Many attribute this to the country’s favorable regulatory environment. It has become a hotbed for developers and operators in the online casino industry because of this.

One of the main reasons why Estonia has become such a desirable spot for iGaming businesses is thanks to its unique tax system. It has a zero percent corporate income tax on retained and reinvested profits. This means that successful companies in the country have a chance of turning higher net profits than they would if they set up elsewhere.

Online casinos and developers in Estonia have been quick to adapt to new technologies. One of the biggest developers operating in the country is Playtech, which moved some of its offices there thanks to the favorable environment. The branch has a heavy focus on table games and live dealer offerings. Another notable studio in Estonia is Nolimit City Estonia. It specializes in creating slots and other casino games for a range of platforms. It prides itself on its high-quality graphics and the innovative features of the games.

With these famous names operating in Estonia, it helps other companies realize that they should also be developing their interests in the country. Playtech, in particular, has long been one of the iGaming industry's leading players. When the company makes a move, others quickly follow suit.

Latvia’s Regulation Has Allowed the Industry to Flourish

Latvia is another example of a Baltic state that has put systems in place to allow the iGaming market to boom. It’s regulated and open to licensed private operators for everything gambling-related except the state-run lottery. Like other Baltic States, the Latvian government has set up favorable conditions for businesses in the industry and this has resulted in a 10.5 percent year-on-year increase in revenue over the last few years. Turnover reached upwards of €290 million in the Baltics in 2022.

One thing that’s notable in Latvia is the immense faith that players have in the industry. The country has a strong regulatory framework in which official bodies work tirelessly to protect players and ensure fair play. This has led to the weeding out of operators that can’t comply with the strict standards and the existence of only highly reputable brands. It has also helped attract a lot of businesses who want to work in a market where there are high levels of trust between players and casinos.

One of the best-known players in the Latvian online casino market is Evolution Gaming. The company has its head offices in Sweden, but it also has smaller studios in Riga. The studio has been at the heart of the rise of the live-streaming market and has won numerous awards throughout its history. Some other iGaming developers with offices in the region include CTXM and BetConstruct.

It's clear that the iGaming markets across the Baltic States have their own unique characteristics and dynamics. There are key commonalities between these countries, though, which make them prime places for companies in the industry to flourish. They are likely to breed innovation in the industry for many years to come.