Online gambling isn't legalized everywhere in the world. Even in the places where it's allowed, some rules need to be followed by operators. In most of these countries, offshore gaming is unregulated, which is how players can enjoy games online.
The Estonian Gambling Act
If we're strictly talking about gambling, then rules for this have existed since the 1990s. We're going to talk about the latest act. But before that, we need to look back to the past.
Before the 2000s, two sets of laws were introduced for the Estonian landscape. The Gambling Act of 1995 is the one that we're more concerned about. According to this, four different types of gambling were allowed: Games of chance, games of skill, totalisators, and bettingBut why are we talking about this outdated Act? This is because it's the foundation for the current one that was drafted back in 2008.
This updated iteration also included the four categories from the 1995 version. But with this one, Estonia placed more focus on online gambling as the industry had started growing right around that time.
Online Gambling Regulations
The Gambling Act of 2008 started applying to online gambling in 2010. During that year, only local operators were allowed to offer their services to the players. It mean that they needed to have a physical address in Estonia.
The gaming sites would also need a license which the Estonian authority would provide after verification. It was a resounding success which led to allowing the entry of offshore sites into the country's gambling scene.
From January 2011, the market was open for offshore operators. Players now had access to several new online casinos and betting sites. But to make sure everything was legit, these offshore sites would need to get permission from the authority first.
When unlicensed offshore sites were found offering their services, the Estonian authority blocked all those websites to regulate the gambling market.
Additional Things to Keep in Mind for Online Gambling
There are a handful of other things that you need to remember for playing online with Estonian operators. The first thing is the age limit. Unlike most countries where the legal age is 18, a player must be at least 21 to gamble on a local or offshore site from Estonia.
Gamblers can also take part in four kinds of lotteries. Eesti Loto manages all of these events. It's a state-owned gambling operator that provides Lotto, Keno, Bingo, and scratchcard lotteries to the Estonian audience.
Taxes are also imposed on online gambling here. But it's not applied to a player's winnings. It's placed on the operators. According to the regulations, gambling operators (casinos and sportsbooks) must pay a 5% tax on the total net profit. It started in November 2011 and has remained the same since.
It is why for an operator to be trusted, they need to pay the tax. If you're looking for one of these casinos, be sure to check out Playin.ee/tasutaspinnid/ for recommendations.
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