Active players: 620.000
Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, horse racing, casino games, lottery, bingo
Operator types: Licensed online bookmakers and casinos / Unlicensed betting sites
Designated authority: Estonian Tax and Customs Board (ETCB)
Estonia was a part of the USSR and declared its independence in 1991. During the Soviet era all gambling activities were prohibited in the country. The real history of gambling in Estonia began in 1994-95, when the first Lottery Act (1994) and the first Gambling Act (1995) were established. In 2008 the latest Gambling Act was passed and is still in force today. Online betting has been legal and regulated since 2010 under the Estonian Tax and Customs Board. The ETCB is the sole gambling regulator and licensing authority of the small Baltic state. Currently, over a dozen betting sites in Estonia are licensed by the ETCB, however players are constantly searching for more diverse betting options. Thus, they also place their bets at popular international bookmakers such as Bet365.
Betting in Estonia - 5 things to know
- The legal age of betting at online bookmakers is 18
- The 2008 Gambling Act regulates the local betting market
- The ETCB is the country's licensing authority
- All licensees are subject to a 5% tax on their net profit
- Bettors’ winnings are exempt from taxation
Best betting sites in Estonia
The following shortlist contains the best betting sites Estonia has to offer. We selected them due to the fact that they provide the Estonian language, along with very competitive odds, a great variety of betting markets and appealing promotions on a daily basis.
Online betting Estonia: The gambling law framework
As soon as it gained its independence from the Soviet Union, Estonia took its first steps towards the regulation of gambling. It all began in 1994 with the establishment of the Lotteries Act. A year later, in 1995, the much broader Gambling Act came into force. According to its provisions, gambling is categorized in 4 different types: games of chance, games of skill, totalizators and betting. Furthermore, all operators are required to have both an activity license and an operating permit in order to legally offer their gambling services. As regards the regulation of online betting, it was first addressed in 2008, when the latest Gambling Act was introduced. It came into effect on 1/1/2009 and along with the Gambling Tax Act, that came into power 6 months later, they control all forms of online gaming in the country.
2010 was eventually the year that online betting became fully legal. In 2011 the Estonian Tax and Customs Board (ETCB), which is an agency under the Ministry of Finance, became the country’s official gambling regulator and licensing authority. At first only local betting sites were allowed to operate, however this changed in January 2011, when Estonia opened its market to international bookies. Currently, Bet365 Estonia, Unibet, Olybet ee, Tonybet ee, Goalbet, Fenikss, Paf, Toto, Betsafe, Optibet, Coolbet, Bravio and Arena-bet operate with a local license. All the current licensees are taxed 5% on their net profit, which is one of the lowest tax rates globally. Nevertheless, despite the low tax rate, many international bookmakers haven’t applied for a local license.
Essential information for Estonian bettors
Despite the fact that the vast majority of popular international sportsbooks remain unlicensed in Estonia, they still operate in the country’s market and accept locals. Moreover, no specific legal action has ever been taken against punters who place their bets on non-licensed foreign bookies. It is also worth noting that, regardless if you prefer to wager on licensed or unlicensed betting sites, your winnings are not subject to income tax.
The most common deposit options among Estonian players who bet on licensed bookies are credit & debit cards, bank wire and Trustly. The popular instant bank transfer method is compatible with all the major banks in Estonia, including Swedbank, SEB and Nordea. It is worth noting that Trustly is available on Bet365 Eesti, which is one of the top betting sites Estonia has to offer. On the other hand, those who prefer to place their bets on major international unlicensed bookies, usually make their deposits through e-wallets, like Skrill and Neteller, in order to keep their personal data undisclosed.
The Estonian online betting market is well-regulated by the ETCB. Both local and international brands have been granted licenses throughout the years. Local bettors are not taxed on their winnings and they are free to place their bets on any sportsbook they prefer. Nonetheless, the vast majority of popular international bookies are not licensed. Thus, it would be prudent for the authorities to look for ways to lure more international bookmakers into becoming future licensees.
The complete list of Estonian betting sites
Yes, online betting in Estonia has been legal since 2010. The 2008 Gambling Act is the country’s current gambling legislation and the Estonian Tax and Customs Board is responsible for the regulation of the local betting market.
The Estonian Tax and Customs Board apart from being the sole gambling regulator of the country, is also tasked with the issuance of licenses for online bookmakers. The ETCB was founded in 2011 and began granting licenses to foreign operators the same year.
Among the various international bookmakers that operate in the local betting market, there are a few that have successfully optimized their websites in Estonian. The most prominent one is Betwinner.
Yes it is. As a matter of fact, Unibet Eesti is one of the major international betting sites that have both an activity license and an operating permit issued by the Estonian Tax and Customs Board. Therefore, it operates legally within the local market.
Yes it does. Olybet Eesti is one of the most popular betting sites in the Baltics. It has a local license issued by the Estonian Tax and Customs Board (ETCB) and is very appealing to domestic bettors as it offers an interface optimized in Estonian.
No, it is not. More specifically, Betfair Eesti has taken the decision to completely suspend its operations in the country as of May 5, 2020. All existing members will be able to withdraw their funds until May 18, 2020.