EMTA is the Estonian authority responsible for several types of activities and areas. Since the end of the USSR Estonia has been through a rollercoaster of changes in their regulations, especially gambling. During the existence of USSR gambling was 100% prohibited. However, once Estonia got its independence things started moving to the better. Starting with the first Lottery Act of 1994 and Gaming Act of 1995 the people of Estonia could finally taste what gambling feels like. Even before these acts came to power there were some land casinos that operated illegally on Estonian soil, especially in the capital Tallinn. In 2009 the main pillar of Estonian gambling industry was established, it was the Gambling Act of 2009. Before this legislation was enacted online or remote gambling still remained unregulated, therefore the Estonian government loss huge amounts of money in form of tax. Today, online casino operators can provide their services to residents of Estonia only if they have a license issued by EMTA.
The Gambling Act of 2009 adopted the 4 categories of games the previous acts featured including: • Games of chance • Games of skill • Totalisators • Betting
Online casino games fall under the first 2 categories with some being games by chance, others games of skill and some are mix of both. Since January 2010 those who got licensed with the EMTA could freely offer their games and services to the Estonian public. They also were allowed to operate the online casino on Estonian soil. If that was the case, the casino operator had to appoint an audit with the authorities of the hardware and the software that’s going to be used. The operator had to guarantee an 80% of returns to players. If some of the regular audits were to prove otherwise the license is revoked immediately.
EMTA’s main concern is generating tax revenues. For the time being their ultimate goal is to eradicate illegal gambling activities within their jurisdiction. In addition to this they want to attract more remote casino operators that from which the biggest beneficiary is the Estonian public. They set realistic objectives and they fulfill them. If we look back we can see they don’t have a long history, they’re still making their baby steps. Furthermore, they focus on the protection of younger players. Gambling requires great responsibility, that’s why the minimum age is set to 21. Casinos that provide their services to individuals younger than 21 can have their license revoked.