Casinos and Gambling in Estonia

Gambling industry in Estonia is rather young. Gambling has been legalized here only after gaining independence by the country. Than casinos started to develop rapidly along with game rooms which number went down drastically after the introduction of new gambling law.



History of casinos in Estonia

Gambling in Estonia has rather short history. When the country was a part of Soviet Union gambling was prohibited. Although it was forbidden casinos in Estonia existed but were illegal. Changes were made after Estonia regained its independence  in 1991. First lotteries were legalized in 1994, than in 1995 an act regarding gambling. Because of it casinos started to develop at a lightening speed. This was due to the tightening of the requirements for casinos in raising the minimum number of slots and tables in the casino. In this way, small casinos, which were not able to meet the new requirements collapsed and from the 171 casinos operating before the entry of the Act 57 remained. Reinforcement of the requirements contained in the new law was to reduce the number of small casinos and amusement arcades. In Estonia are several operators who own casinos. The largest of these is the Estonian Olympic Casino and the Casino Grand Prix .

Legal Regulations

Estonian gaming market is supervised by the Ministry of Finance and the Customs Chamber. Currently in Estonia gambling law from 2008 is in force, it entered into force early in 2009. According to Estonian law, access to casino habe players over 21 years of age. However Lotteries are allowed for people 16 years or older. Players at their own request, may be self-excluded from casinos for a period of six months to three years.Joint-stock companies and private companies may apply for licenses. To obtain a gambling license in Estonia an operator must have a share capital of at least € 1 million and have a permit to operate. Licences are issued for an indefinite period of time, operating permits are valid for 20 years. The operator must pay a fee for a license in the amount of 47 933.73 € and for a permit to operate 3 195.58 € . Under the new law from 1 January 2010, each casino must have at least 40 gaming machines and / or five tables. Slot machines  is the most popular form of gambling in Estonia , but the tighter restrictions , their number has fallen from over 5 thousand . to about two thousand .

When, where and what to play in estonian casinos?

Casinos are found in each bigger Estonian city. Their largest number is in Tallinn, they are opened daily until morning hours, and part of them is opened 24/7. Players will find in its offer among other roulette, poker, black jack and the most popular slot machines. In some casinos poker tournaments are organised as well.

Cities in which land based casinos are located:

  • Haapsalu

  • Jõhvi

  • Kohtla-Jarve

  • Kuressaare

  • Narva

  • Paide

  • Pärnu

  • Rakvere

  • Rapla

  • Tallinn

  • Tartu

  • Viljandi


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Online casinos in Estonia

After legalising gambling online in 2010 and opening a year later estonian market to overseas companies, in Estonia there were 8 licenses issued to operators offering gambling online. Operators which do not have licenses issued by estonian government, sites are blocked. Players in Estonia can websites of legal operators, who offer them in estonian and english language, and bets are taken in euro and american dollars.

Legal regulations

Online gambling market in Estonia was regulated in 2010 when an act regarding gambling online was enacted.However in accordance with applicable law operators could open sites online. The Estonian market has been opened to foreign operators in 2011 and they can operate under the condition that they obtain a license from the government of Estonia. Operators without a license are blocked. Currently, eight operators have a license, on the other hand there are over 800 casinos on the “black list”. First licence was given in 2010 to Olympic Entertainment Group, the owner of the Estonian casino net Olympic Casino.


She entered casino because, she wanted to hide from rain and won

In 2012 a 63 year old Estonian senior went shopping with her husband to a shopping center. Once they were cut by the rain they decided to hide in a casino closeby. While in casino the woman put 30 cents in a slot machine “Rich Withch” and won 378 270 Euro. Because of happiness spouses had forgotten about shopping. They decided to use won money for traveling.