Activity licence for organising gambling

You will need to apply for an activity licence for organising gambling if you wish to organise gambling. Separate activity licences are issued for organising games of chance, pari-mutuel betting, and games of skill.

An activity licence grants the right to apply for an operating permit, and it is issued without a term by the Tax and Customs Board.

You do not need to apply for an activity licence if you wish to organise:

  • games of skill, the only possible prize of which is the opportunity to participate in the same game again;
  • lotteries, the value of the prize pool of which is up to 1,000 euros;
  • commercial lotteries.

The activity of a gambling operator is regulated by the:

Requirements for the applicant

An activity licence for organising games of chance may be applied for by a public limited company or private limited company whose share capital amounts to at least 1,000,000 euros.

An activity licence for organising pari-mutuel betting may be applied for by a public limited company or private limited company whose share capital amounts to at least 130,000 euros.

An activity licence for organising games of skill may be applied for by a public limited company or private limited company whose share capital amounts to at least 25,000 euros.

A gambling operator must be a trustworthy legal person whose only field of activity is the organisation of gambling.

The shareholders with a qualifying holding in a gambling operator shall not include a person who:

  • has a criminal record;
  • has organised gambling without an activity licence or operating permit, or has managed a company whose activity licence has been revoked due to a violation of the law;
  • has caused the insolvency of a company due to a grave error in management.

Before deciding on the grant of an activity licence, it is checked whether the applicant for the activity licence meets the requirements established for gambling operators, their tax behaviour of the last three years is inspected, and if necessary, additional characteristics of the applicant for the activity licence are collected to verify the documents submitted upon application for the activity licence and the trustworthiness and good reputation of the applicant for the activity licence.

Cross-border activity

The European Union does not have standardised requirements with regard to organising gambling. This means that an activity licence acquired from another state within the European Economic Area does not grant the right to offer gambling in Estonia, and vice versa.

Completing and submitting an application

To acquire an activity licence, please submit an application form and

  • information and documents regarding the members of the management board and supervisory board of the applicant for an activity licence, including, for each person, the forename and surname, personal identification code or date of birth in the absence thereof, place of residence, a complete list of places of employment and positions, and documents that prove the trustworthiness of the members of the management board and supervisory board of the applicant for the activity licence and their conformity to the requirements of the Gambling Act, which the applicant considers important to submit, and the information and documents specified in clause 11 (3) 2) of the Gambling Act;
  • information about the auditor of the applicant for the activity licence, including the auditor’s name, place of residence or seat, personal identification code or date of birth in the absence thereof, or registry code;
  • a list of the shareholders of the applicant for the activity licence, including, for each shareholder, the name, registry code or personal identification code, or date of birth in the absence of a personal identification code, and information about the number of shares or size of the holding and the number of votes to be acquired or already held by each shareholder;
  • the information and documents specified in subsection 11 (2) of the Gambling Act regarding persons who have a qualifying holding in the applicant for the activity licence.

If your company is being founded, please submit with your application the foundation agreement or the foundation resolution, or a notarised or equally validated copy of at least one of them. An activity licence issued to a company being founded will take effect not sooner than at the acquisition of legal capacity by the company.

NB! Please pay the state fee before submitting your application.

The application can be submitted:

Payment of the state fee

A state fee must be paid for the review of the application for an activity licence:

  • 47,940 euros for the organisation of games of chance;
  • 3,200 euros for the organisation of games of skill;
  • 31,960 euros for the organisation of pari-mutuel betting.

The state fee for the review of an activity licence for gambling must be transferred to a bank account of the Ministry of Finance:

  • SEB Bank – EE891010220034796011 (SWIFT: EEUHEE2X)
  • Swedbank – EE932200221023778606 (SWIFT: HABAEE2X)
  • Danske Bank – EE403300333416110002 (SWIFT: FOREEE2X)
  • Nordea Bank – EE701700017001577198 (SWIFT: NDEAEE2X).

Please add reference number 2900082919 on the payment order.

Processing the application

The Tax and Customs Board will send a preliminary response not later than on the third working day as of the submission of the application.

The Tax and Customs Board will make a decision on the grant or refusal to grant an activity licence within 4 months as of the receipt of all of the required documents and information but not later than within 6 months as of the receipt of the application for an activity licence.

You will be notified of the issuing of an activity licence by e-mail.

The activity licence is issued electronically.

The activity licence is valid without a term.

Changes to the conditions of an activity licence

Upon changes to the circumstances that were checked as a prerequisite for the grant of the activity licence (please refer to Requirements for the applicant), you will need to notify the Tax and Customs Board at least 30 days before the planned change.

Notification of changes beyond your control and changes to any other information included on the activity licence must be given at the earliest opportunity, but not later than within 5 working days.

Notification of changes in qualified holdings must be given in accordance with sections 11–15 of the Gambling Act.

An application for an amendment must be submitted:

Revocation of an activity licence

An activity licence will be revoked if it becomes apparent that you intentionally submitted incorrect information in the application for an activity licence, which affected the grant of the licence, and if upon failure to submit such information, the grant of the activity licence should have been refused, or if you renounce economic activities. An entrepreneur is deemed to have renounced economic activities if they fail to submit the annual confirmation of having informed the Tax and Customs Board of any changes to the conditions of the activity licence.

The activity licence may also be revoked when:

  • the holder of the activity licence has repeatedly and materially violated the obligations imposed on the holder of the activity licence by the Gambling Act;
  • the holder of the activity licence has organised gambling without an operating permit for organising gambling;
  • the holder of the activity licence does not meet the requirements provided for in sections 9 or 10 of the Gambling Act;
  • the person to whom an activity licence for organising a game of chance, pari-mutuel betting, or game of skill has been issued, has not had a valid operating permit for organising a game of chance, pari-mutuel betting, or game of skill for over a year, or has not been engaged in the organisation of a game of chance, pari-mutuel betting, or game of skill during the same period without good reason;
  • the holder of the operating permit has failed to implement a precept of a law enforcement agency by the deadline and the court has not declared the precept invalid;
  • the holder of the activity licence has committed an intentional violation of tax law;
  • all operating permits issued to the gambling operator have been revoked;
  • the holder of the activity licence has been involved in money laundering or repeatedly violated the procedure for preventing money laundering and terrorist financing established by legislation.

Supervision

The Tax and Customs Board exercises governmental supervision over the organisation of gambling.

The Consumer Protection Board exercises governmental supervision over the area of consumer rights and advertising.

The Financial Intelligence Unit exercises governmental supervision over the area of preventing money laundering and terrorist financing.

Contact information

Substantial information

Ranno Aednurm

Tax and Customs Board, tel: 676 2023 e-mail: ranno.aednurm@emta.ee

Riina Rünt

Tax and Customs Board, tel: 676 2024, e-mail: riina.rynt@emta.ee

Information regarding the Register of Economic Activities

Register of Economic Activities, tel: 668 7080, e-mail: register@mkm.ee

Last amended: 26-01-2017 15:06 | Compiled by: Tax and Customs Board