Lithuania

Remote gambling operators must partner with land-based operators in order to be able to acquire a gaming license in Lithuania. Since the Lithuanian Gaming Control Authority announced the new gaming law in the country, strict compliance must be observed so as not to be banned from operating in Lithuanian territory. Gambling brands who wish to operate legally here should have a €1.7 million share capital.

Not only have they rolled out a long blacklist of companies involved in online illegal gambling, they also released this list to credit card companies, banks and other financial institutions to prevent acceptance of payments from these websites.

It’s worthy to mention that these updated gambling laws prevent underage and compulsive gambling by banning operators from doling out free gifts and bonuses. Although compliance is strict in Lithuania, the country has a low 5% tax base rate for lottery and 15% for bingo, totalisator and betting.

Estonia

People in Estonia are fond of gambling. It has been said that about 80% of the Estonian citizens have gambled at least once in their life. Gambling was legalized in 1991, but was regulated by the Estonian Lottery Act in 1994. One of the most captivating feature about getting your gaming license in Estonia is the unspecified time for its activity license, one of the two licenses required to operate a gambling company in this country. Another license that you need to apply for is the operating permit which is valid for 20 years. Age restrictions apply as well. You can’t be caught gambling in Estonian Casinos if you’re under 21 years old. Online gambling is permitted to those 16-year-olds interested in lotteries.

You don’t need to belong to the EU to be able to acquire a license in Estonia. Both private and public companies are also eligible. But it’s important to meet the following requirements:

  • Operator must declare a minimum of €1 million share capital
  • Pay the activity license fee of €47 933.73 and acquire an operating license from the Estonian Tax and Customs Board
  • Pay the remote gambling tax of 5%

Although the international web hosting ban has been lifted in 2011, more than 800 foreign-owned online casinos are still blacklisted in Estonia for not complying with the country’s gambling laws.

Latvia

It was only in 1998 when internet gambling was regulated in this Eastern European country. In 2003, laws and iGaming rules were finally ironed out and they turned out to be quite strict, forcing operators to apply for a license as soon as possible. In 2011, foreign operators were actually faced with the possibility of leaving the country’s once laxed gambling industry due to additional laws that were passed that year. In 2014, the authorities added a long list of blacklisted online gambling domains.

What to expect when getting a license in Latvia?

  • Submission of application to the Latvia Lotteries and Gambling Supervision Inspection authority and paying for a fixed fee of €427 000. But that’s not the only thing you have to pay for. Additional permits and corresponding fees are required as well.
  • The Latvian license is renewed annually.
  • An EU accredited inspection is not only done during application, but regular testing of software equipment is also strictly imposed.
  • Age restrictions (18 and above) apply

Another important point that you have to keep in mind when applying for a gaming license in Latvia is that at least 50% of the gambling company’s management must Latvian citizens.

Both offline and online gambling operators must abide by the rules governing each country in Eastern Europe. It may sound complicated (and sometimes they really are in some of the countries) but knowing firsthand what to expect when getting your gaming license will help a lot in making the process a lot less complicated than it should be.