The Baltic States made up of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, are fast becoming a hotbed for investment. And, more specifically, iGaming investment. It may come as a surprise to some, but for others, it will be no surprise at all, as the Baltic States are prime locations for iGaming enterprises to flourish and, therefore, investors to take in the cash.
Before any iGaming investor even considers penetrating a new market, one of the first requirements is that there must be a strong interest in gambling in the region, usually backed up by a rich history. The likes of brands such as Entain-owned Party Casino, which are always keen to spread their wings, want to do so in areas where there is going to be that good level of interest. And the Baltic States tick this box, as locals generally have a passion for gambling as a form of entertainment.
For any iGaming investors to succeed in any jurisdiction they decide to enter, a lot of it comes down to the people there, their behaviours and so on. Without them, there would be no point looking to move into countries such as Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. A prime example of what we mean is that nowadays, more people than ever before are gambling online and on mobile. Leading iGaming operators are online and on mobile, and in the Baltic States, there is a significant number of people who choose to game this way.
What many living in the Baltic States have is also a reasonable level of disposable income. And in many cases, when people have disposable income, they're going to spend it on things they like doing, such as gambling at online casinos and the like. Ultimately it means that if major brands do head to the Baltic States and spend money doing so, investing in expansion, there's a fair chance that it's going to be a decision that pays dividends further down the line because there are enough people, with enough money, to become members at online casinos and to play games such as video slots.
Looking at the Baltic States more closely, in Estonia, for example, online gambling is legal and regulated, a tick-in-the-box for investors. The market is showing year-on-year growth, which is always a good sign, and the fees to operate are reasonable in comparison with western locations. The same also applies to Latvia and Lithuania in many respects too. They’re newer markets than some, but they’re growing fast.
And perhaps that is the key. Maybe getting involved during these relatively early stages is perfect for iGaming investors because they’re almost certain to make their money back and more on top. But, by capitalising now, brands can take advantage of lower fees and lower capital demands in the Baltic States while also establishing themselves and building up customer bases, which will serve them well for years to come.