Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania are three of the fastest growing online casino markets at the moment. Although there has been online casinos in these countries for a while, it’s only recently that the growth has really started to take place. We’re going to take a close look at what each one of these countries has to offer in terms of gambling laws as well as the online casino choices that are available to players.
Keep reading to learn everything that needs to be said about online casinos in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.
Online gambling is completely legal for players within Latvia. However, there are a number of slight caveats that are in effect. Firstly, an online casino isn't allowed to provide services to players within the country if it doesn’t have a license. So, all online casinos must be licensed with the Latvian gambling authority before they are able to provide services to players. This does mean that the available online casinos are slightly limited because of this, but it does increase the overall safety and security of players.
Secondly, there are no limits on the type of gambling that an online casino offers. So it is able to provide players with sports betting choices if it wishes. However, there may be additional licensing requirements that have to be in place before this can be completely carried out.
The overall online casino options that are offered to players in Latvia is generally below what other countries have available. As of 2017 there were just 7 online casinos in operation in the country and although this number has grown over the last few years, it’s still not at the levels that other countries have available. What it does mean is that players are able to easily find out which online casino is the best to play at.
The revenue for the industry continues to grow so it’s likely that the number of online casino choices will carry on increasing over time.
Estonia allowed players to begin using online casinos in 2008 when the first gambling act came into force. These were fully implemented by 2010 which allowed the government more control over what went on. Estonia was formerly under the control of the USSR, which means that in terms of gambling culture it is well behind a number of other countries. Gambling was strictly prohibited under this regime, while it still went on, it had to be done in secret so many people within the region aren’t used to gambling in the way that other European countries are.
It doesn’t mean that the country hasn’t taken gambling right into its heart though. The government has strict legislation in place for any operator that wants to open an online casino. This means that even though it is part of the EU, not all EU countries can take Estonian players. The reason behind this is that the Estonia government has got tighter restrictions than some other EU countries.
It’s actually quite a complicated issue in some ways. Essentially, because the EU imposes restrictions there are countries that comply with these restrictions to the minimum layer. However, Estonia has tighter restrictions in place than the base level EU ones. So, anyone who wants to operate an online casino that takes Estonian players has to comply with the tighter Estonian laws otherwise they’re not allowed to play there.
The Estonian market is growing at a fast pace. Part of this is because players within the region know that they can trust the sites here due to the tight Estonian restrictions. The casino choice is a little bit limited here because of this, however the sites are held to a much higher standard which is a huge positive for players.
Lithuania is one of the tighter markets out there. It actively places sites that allow illegal gambling on a blacklist. This doesn’t mean that it doesn’t allow players to enjoy gambling generally speaking, it just means that without a Lithuanian license, there is no opportunity for operators to take players from Lithuania.
These licenses were first issued in 2016, so it’s certainly one of the newer markets around. It has grown at a fast pace though, with more than 20 different online casinos available in the country already. Despite the increases in the number of casinos overall revenues haven’t grown by much though. In fact, between 2013 and 2017 there was a growth of just €2 million. It means that players in Lithuania seem to have reached their limit.
This could mean that the market is oversaturated at this point in time and some online casinos should look to exit the market. However, from a player perspective this does mean that there is a lot of choice on offer. So, if one casino doesn’t have what you want there’s a good chance that another one will have it available.
As you can play overseas casino from all countries, it is possible to join in on Finnish casinos as well, just as casinos for New Zealand or Canada. In Finland gambling is allowed at overseas companies and that could give you are little more secure feeling then playing from a sketchy offshore island.