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Barriers for gambling in Estonia

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Taxes

Pursuant to the Gambling Tax Act, gambling taxes are imposed on the amounts received as stakes in games of skill, totalisators or betting as provided for in the Gambling Act, gambling tables and gambling machines used for organising games of chance as provided for in the Gambling Act, amounts received as stakes in games of chance which are not organised on gambling tables or gambling machines and amounts received from the sale of lottery tickets for lotteries provided for in the Lotteries Act. The Gambling tax is to be paid by the organisers of gambling. The tax rates are 18% of the stakes for games of skill, 18% of the stakes for passive and instant lotteries, 10% of the stakes for number lotteries, 15.000 kroons (ca. 958 Euro) per gambling table, 18% of the stakes for games of chance which are not organised on a gambling table or gambling machine, 5.000 kroons (ca. 319 Euro) per gambling machine, and 5% of the stakes of betting services.

Concerning Bingo, media gambling services, sales promotional services and charity gambling no indications can be made on the basis of information currently available.

LISTING

LEGISLATION ENACTED

Federal

General

– Gambling Tax Act, effective as of April 1, 2002, State Gazette I 2002, 28, 158, as amended in State Gazette I 2004, 52, 362.
– Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act, effective as of January 1, 2004, State Gazette I 2003, 81, 544.
– Advertising Act, effective as of June 11, 1997, State Gazette I 1997, 52, 835, as amended in State Gazette I 2004, 27, 177.

Lotteries

– Law on Lottery, effective as of July 21, 1994, State Gazette I 1994,50,845, as amended in State Gazette I 1997, 1,6.

Casino Gaming

– Law on Gambling, effective as of July 21, 1995, State Gazette I 95, 58, 1005, as amended in State Gazette I 2005, 32, 236.

Machine Gambling Outside Casinos

– Law on Gambling, effective as of July 21, 1995, State Gazette I 95, 58, 1005, as amended in State Gazette I 2005, 32, 236.

Betting

– Law on Gambling, effective as of July 21, 1995, State Gazette I 95, 58, 1005, as amended in State Gazette I 2005, 32, 236.

Bingo

– Law on Lottery, effective as of July 21, 1994, State Gazette I 1994,50,845, as amended in State Gazette I 1997, 1,6.

Sales Promotional Gambling

– Law on Lottery, effective as of July 21, 1994, State Gazette I 1994,50,845 as amended in State Gazette I 1997, 1,6.

Charity Gambling

– Law on Lottery, effective as of July 21, 1994, State Gazette I 1994,50,845 as amended in State Gazette I 1997, 1,6.

SELF-REGULATION

Federal

General

– Special guidelines for organizers of gambling or lotteries regarding client identification requirements, registration and preservation of data and obligations of notification, published on the public website of the Police Board, www.pol.ee but not available in English

BARRIERS

Panorama

General

Pursuant to Art. 2 of the Law on Gambling, the state has the right to offer gambling services and it may delegate this right by means of an operating licence.

Art. 5 Section 6 Law on Gambling prohibits the advertising of gambling games except in locations where gambling is held.

Art. 19 of the Advertising Act prohibits advertising of gambling and casinos except in locations where gambling is held. Advertising of gambling shall be understandable and unambiguous. Advertising of gambling shall not contain a direct appeal to participate in gambling. Art. 2 of the Advertising Act provides for a definition of advertising: information which is made public for the purpose of increasing the sale of products or services, promoting an event or idea, or achieving other desired results in other areas and which an advertiser disseminates for a fee or other consideration is deemed to be advertising.

Lotteries

Pursuant to § 2 ss 2 of the Law on Lottery, lotteries may only be organized for charitable purposes to provide grants for Estonian culture, sports, sciences, education, medicine, social care or environmental protection.

The provisions of Art. 5 of the Law on Lottery, according to which non-profit associations and foundations functioning as operators of a lottery with a prize fund not exceeding 250.000 EEK (ca. 15.974 Euro) may be registered in Estonia, do not require that such legal entity have its seat in Estonia. Pursuant to the general principles of the Civil Code (§ 40 and 135) foreign legal entities shall be recognised in Estonia and shall have passive legal capacity and active legal capacity equal to that of Estonian legal entities unless otherwise provided by law or an agreement. The location of a legal entity is the place where its management board or a body substituting therefore is located. The right to organize lotteries with a prize fund of over 250.000 EEK (ca. 15.974 Euro) is limited to: 1. entities of public law if the law governing their activities provides for organizing such lotteries; 2. wholly state owned enterprises designated by the government of the Republic; 3. non-profit associations designated by the government of the Republic. This is a restriction to specific forms of legal entities subject to strong state influence. The public law entity is even defined in § 6 of the General principles of the Civil Code as a legal entity which has been established by an Act in the public interest.

Lotteries during entertainment or charity events and for the purpose of promoting sales may be organised by a permanent resident of Estonia and a legal entity registered in Estonia (Art. 5 sec 3 and Art. 8 sec 3 Law on Lottery).

Casino Gaming

Pursuant to Art. 2 of the Law on Gambling, the state has the right to operate gambling games and it may delegate this right by means of an operating licence.

By virtue of § 12 ss 1 and 2 of the Law on Gambling an operating license is provided to a company for a period of ten years; a separate licence is issued for each type of gambling. In addition to the operating license, the company must apply for a gaming license which is issued for five years and which indicates the exact gambling locations.

Art. 5 Section 6 Law on Gambling prohibits the advertising of gambling except in locations where gambling is held.

Machine Gambling Outside Casinos

Pursuant to Art. 2 of the Law on Gambling, the state has the right to operate gambling games and it may delegate this right by means of an operating licence.

By virtue of § 12 ss 1 and 2 of the Law on Gambling an operating license is provided to a company for a period of ten years, ; a separate licence is issued for each type of gambling. In addition to the operating license, the company must apply for a gaming license which is issued for five years and which indicates the exact gambling locations.

Art. 5 Section 6 Law on Gambling prohibits the advertising of gambling except in locations where gambling is held.

Betting

Pursuant to Art. 2 of the Law on Gambling, the state has the right to operate gambling games and it may delegate this right by means of an operating licence.

By virtue of § 12 ss 1 and 2 of the Law on Gambling an operating license is provided to a company for a period of ten years, ; a separate licence is issued for each type of gambling. In addition to the operating license, the company must apply for a gaming license which is issued for five years and which indicates the exact gambling locations.

Art. 5 Section 6 Law on Gambling prohibits the advertising of gambling.

Charity Gambling

According to § 2 ss 2 of the Law on Lottery lotteries, may only be organized for charitable purposes to provide grants for Estonian culture, sports, sciences, education, medicine, social care or environmental protection.

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