Best Online Casinos in Estonia
Estonia is one of the best countries of choice when it comes to all kinds of gambling. Despite the fact that the history of gambling is very young here, by the time of writing this review, Estonia has managed to regulate its gambling market to the fullest. Today, all punters can enjoy a variable, entertaining, and well-paying casinos and other venues all over the country, both offline and online. If you are interested in the neighboring countries, as well, check out online casino Latvia, or some of the best online casino Sweden.
All you as a player need to know is that there are dozens of land based facilities for games of chance, games of skill, betting, and lotteries. You are free to enjoy the entertainment and thrill of betting any time you want. Now, if you prefer web casinos, no problem here.
All online casinos Estonia that are actually accessible from Estonia, whether they are run by the local companies, or operated from abroad by an international company, are licensed and therefore safe to play at. Estonia demands all operators obtain a local license to offer their games to citizens. The sites that fail to acquire an Estonian online casino license are blocked by the state, so, if you are able to access the site – it is okay to play at it. You can even choose an online mobile casino.
Of course, some sites are still better than the others, because the best platforms offer more games, bigger bonuses, and more convenient payment methods. However, you do not need to worry about finding the best online casinos for Estonian players on your own. We have already researched this issue for you, and have listed the best online casinos in Estonia. Choose from the list below, grab your cash bonuses, and win even more cash online!
List of Online Casinos for players from Estonia
History of Gambling in Estonia
The older history of gambling in Estonia is not really clear, but we definitely know that, in the times of USSR, all gambling activities were officially prohibited. However, illegal casinos were still functioning - mostly for criminals, or for the top people of the political party. The country, though, could not regulate this segment, because officially, it did not exist.
Only in 1991, when Estonia regained its independence from the USSR, the local economy started to develop rapidly, including the betting niche. The same year, the first national lottery was launched in the country. The government was aware that boosting the gambling business, they will be able to quickly boost the financial situation.
Three years later, in 1994, the first Gambling Act was adopted, and came into effect in 1995. The Act defined four types of betting activities - games of chance (like play online free slots), games of skill (like poker), betting (like sports betting at max bet casino sport book), and totalisators. This Act allowed the functioning of land based gaming houses, legally. The laws based on the new act, obliged all the businesses to acquire a state license for operation. Every license was to expire in ten years.
However, the 1994 Act could not provide a decent legal basis for casinos online Estonia and other betting platforms that started to arrive quickly with the development of the Internet. Already in the beginning of the 2000s, the government had to take decisions about online betting. In 2008, they have issued a new Act which came into effect in 2009.
This new Act kept all the previously issued rules that could be applied to offline gambling. On the other hand, it offered up to date regulations applicable to online gaming.
Current Situation on Gambling in Estonia
Today, all kinds of gambling are legal in Estonia, as long as the operator holds the local license (and an international one, as well, if they are based offshore). Residents and tourists can play at land based casinos, take part in lotteries, make bets on sports and racing, etc. Access to lotteries is possible from the age of 16, but to play casino games, or make bets, one should be no less than 21 years of age.
National lottery, by the way, is organized only for the charity purposes. The most popular lotteries are lotto, keno, bingo, and scratch cards. National lottery is a monopoly, but private operators do not seem to be very eager to take its place. According to the local laws, over 50% of profits should be paid as charity - for science, education, welfare, etc.
As for online gambling in Estonia, it became fully legal in Estonia in 2010. One of the reason why Estonia have managed to decide upon this issue so quickly - compared to many other European countries who are still far from regulating their market properly - is the world crisis of 2008-2009. The economy went down, obviously, and the state wanted to make gambling a new source of finance for the country.
In 2010, only local operators could open their web platforms, but in 2011, foreign companies also got an opportunity to provide their service to Estonians - as soon as they have the license. Today, the situation is still as favourable - residents and guests have free access to numerous licensed, high quality online casinos. In case you want to learn about gambling in other EU countries, check out online casino Poland.
Laws for Gambling in Estonia
Generally speaking, full gambling regulations were provided by Estonia by 2010. The main Acts connected to the market of gaming are the Gambling Act and the Gambling Tax Act. These two Acts have collected all the rules of the previous Acts and regulations that could be applied to modern day gambling - including the laws of 1991 and 1994. All current businesses are controlled according to the act of year 2008, which is applicable to both offline and online gaming.
As it has already been stated, all operators, whether local or foreign, are free to offer their service until they hold the relevant license. All citizens and tourists have access to national lotteries at the age of 16 and older, and at the age of 21 and older, one is free to participate in other gambling activities.
Moreover, the state takes care of public health, and promotes responsible gambling to society. All operators who runs casinos and other betting platforms in Estonia are obliged to comply with strict rules to prevent gambling addiction and corresponding social problems stemming from it.
Regulatory Authorities in Estonia
The main authorities responsible for the segment of gaming in Estonia are The Estonian Tax and Customs Board, and also partially the Board of Customer Protection.
The Estonian Tax and Customs Board issues licenses, collaborates with and reviews all current and potential companies who wants to enter the market, and takes decisions on all connected issues. Since gambling market is rather free in the country, all companies that want to enter the market have to actually prove the quality of service to the Board. It is also their task to make sure they comply with the laws.
The Board of Customer Protection collaborates with the Estonian Tax and Customs Board to make sure none of the gambling products - or companies - violate the rights of the customers. Moreover, Estonia is part of the European Union, which means most of its rules are overviewed by the relevant EU bodies. Generally, Estonia meets the requirements and rules of the free market and trade around the EU, but it also managed to keep the right to issue its local licenses to foreign operators.
All responsible agencies take gambling addiction risks very seriously, and make sure all entertainments are safe and proper. The country collaborates with such international organizations as BeGambleAware.com, Gamblers Anonymous, and GamCare, to provide timely and professional aid to all punters who feels their punting is out of control.
Taxation Laws on Gambling in Estonia
Taxation is strict and pretty straightforward in Estonia, for both punters and businesses. While the Gambling Act of 2008 does not define taxes, the taxes on winnings and income of the businesses are regulated by other laws.
Firstly, the casinos are expected to pay 5% of their net income. This is the only gambling tax for businesses, and we all must agree that the amount is very, very low - especially compared to taxes in other countries. So, little surprise more and more companies open facilities, and offer their entertainment services in the web. The casinos derive finance for the tax from their players’ deposits, and the players, in their turn, do not have to pay anything on their winnings.
Yes, exactly. Any winnings in casinos, on sports betting, or other types of gaming, do not require the player to pay additional tax. The only case when the winner pays taxes to the state is the national lottery. Those winning the lottery prize have to pay tax on it as part of their usual income tax.
As we can see, Estonia is extremely gambling-friendly. So, if you would like to explore its land based and Estonian online casinos, make sure you know which ones are the best Estonian online casinos! Learn more about how to choose casinos and bonuses in the gambling blog.
Land Based Casinos in Estonia
There are more than 50 brick and mortar gaming houses in the country, and most of them are backed by one of the most well-known gambling brands in Europe - the Olympic. So don’t be surprised that the best and the biggest facilities are all by Olympic.
Opened in 2016, this casino has 18 table games, up to 100 slots machines, and 10 poker tables. Besides separate poker room, there is a hotel, a spa, and a restaurant. The facility is extremely luxurious.
In this casino, you will be able to enjoy 4 table games, around 40 slots machines, and check your skill at one of the three poker tables. Located in the historic and cultural area, this casino attracts many tourists.
This facility was opened in 2013. There are six table games, two poker tables, and 45 slots machines for your pleasure. There is also a sports bar, and different entertaining events held on a regular basis.
Banking Options for Gambling in Estonia
Being totally legal, gambling industry in Estonia freely cooperates with all kinds of payment processing companies - from local and international banks, to e-wallets and prepaid voucher companies - to provide support for as many banking options as it is possible, for the Estonian punters. So, when you are deciding what option to choose for your deposit and withdrawal, consider from one to three of the following methods:
- American Express
- Apple Pay
- Google Pay
Please pay attention that it is not possible to use PayPal for gambling in Estonia.
Popular Cities in Estonia for Gambling
Weirdly, but having over 50 casinos, Estonia has most of them concentrated in the capital. Tallinn hosts so many brick and mortar casinos mostly because it was the place for illegal gambling back in the times of the Soviet Union. Yet, there are also other cities that can boast a casino or two. Here is the full list of them:
- Casino in Tallinn - 36
- Jõhvi - 3
- Kohtla-Järve - 1
- Kuressaare - 1
- Narva - 3
- Paide - 1
- Pärnu - 2
- Rakvere - 1
- Tartu - 4
- Viljandi - 1
- Voru - 1
Please keep in mind that we are only talking full-fledged casino houses here. There are even more slots machine and bingo halls, sports books, racing courses, and lottery spots.
Facts About Estonia
Estonia is worth visiting not only because of gambling. For example, did you know that:
- the country has the most supermodels per capita, globally
- you can vote online here
- the oldest public sauna in Tallinn opened at the beginning of the 14th century
- wife carrying is an international sport in Estonia
- estonian language is one of the hardest to learn
- Skype was invented in Estonia
- there can be snow in the middle of summer in Estonia
- there is the highest number of museums per person in the world
- on cold winters, it is possible to drive on ice between Estonian islands
- there are more women than men in the country
- marzipan is one of the oldest and most popular sweets here