A new gambling bill currently under consideration in Estonia has attracted the attention of the European Commission regarding its online and land licensing provisions.
In terms of the proposed legalization, all would-be gambling providers in Estonia, home to several online gambling software development subsidiaries of major European companies, would be required to apply for licensing.
European Commission officials apparently have reservations about this requirement, which may contravene EU principles for the free movement of goods and services between member states by insisting on licensing those EU companies that already have acceptable licensing from other member nations.
The European Gaming and Betting Association, which includes most of the major European betting groups in its membership, is following developments with interest. Secretary general Sigrid Ligne commented that the Commission’s guidelines to Estonian regulators are clear and say that online gaming operators that have been issued a gaming license in another EU country may not be required to obtain another licence in Estonia.
Estonian Ministry of Finance spokesmen told local media that the Commission’s criticism was misdirected, in that Estonia did not seek to regulate online gaming in the current gaming law.