The Ministry of Finance has submitted a draft law suggesting that the new government of Estonia increase the tax rates for online gambling, casino games, and lottery, citing the rapid growth of revenue in online casinos.
The proposed bill recommends a gradual tax hike, which would increase the current tax rate of 5% for online gambling to 6% in 2024 and 7% in 2026. Additionally, taxes on table games would increase by 10%, while the lottery tax rate would rise from 18% to 22%. The ministry aims to implement the bill from January 1, 2024, and expects to generate an additional €8m in 2024 and 2025, €12m in 2026, and €13m in 2027 through the proposed tax hike.
There are currently 29 licensed online gambling operators in Estonia, with 14 of them being Estonian companies. According to the Estonian Tax and Customs Board, the revenue generated from online casinos has increased by 260% in the last two years, rising from €78 million in 2020 to €281 million in 2022. The draft law highlights that a significant portion of this revenue comes from bets placed by individuals from other countries, such as Finland and Germany.
In addition to proposing an increase in taxes on online gambling, the Estonian government plans to raise taxes on alcohol and tobacco. These measures are aimed at providing tax exemptions on pensions and setting the level of tax-free income at €700 per month.
The new centrist coalition government, led by Prime Minister Kaja Kallas of the Reform Party, the Social Democrats, and Eesti 200, intends to revise Estonia’s gambling laws this year. It is expected that the ban on gambling advertisements will be one of the likely outcomes of the revision.