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Gambling in the Baltic and Nordic Countries

Updated 10.05.2023

The nations of the north present unique conditions regarding gaming. Even though these businesses are smaller than those from Western Europe, some countries have very well-established and quickly developing gambling sectors with less severe guidelines.

Nordic and Baltic gambling: basic info

Smart Money offers to check out the current state of the lucrative northern areas. We will also help you with establishing a presence in these countries.

Overview of the Markets

The northern states have certain advantages:

  • a committed and wealthy punters base;
  • serious accent on safe activities;
  • only a few monopolised businesses in certain countries.

Even regarding the existing imposing model in some states, this area is still very attractive for those who want to invest in a gambling startup.

The key elements of the markets are:

  • rising online activity rates;
  • striking degrees of additional revenue;
  • local people's notable adoration for gaming.

We will now consider the condition of digital activities in every nation:


Gambling business in Denmark

In 2021, the gambling sector grew by 28,65% compared to the previous year, demonstrating that it is in a great state. In 2020, the casino field accumulated about €330 million. It has defeated the similarly sizable web-based wagering industry, which rounded up €308 million.

The local leisure business sector is completely legal. Distributors can obtain licences for all services. However, it differs from lotto activities: they are part of a state-wide monopoly.

The opportunity to present some of the most popular casino offerings, e.g., card games, is included in the licence. Regarding the wagering permit, all activities can be presented, aside from virtual competitions, which are monopolised. Guidelines do not show the difference between web and offline activities.

Here are some facts about documentation in Denmark:

  • the quantity of permits accessible for potential business owners is unlimited;
  • their validity lasts for 5 years;
  • it is possible to get a licence for a year if the income is limited.

To apply for approval, it is important to already have a reputable name in this or another EU country. Charges rely upon the grant obtained and the distributor's usual revenue.

Expenses are the following:

  • applying for an individual document is about €40,000;
  • the combined one is charged at €55,000;
  • licences with limits cost €7,800.

Distributors are required to pay a yearly instalment which depends on the GGR, which ranges from €7,800 to €700,000. For a wide range of activities, tax collection remains at 28%. Nowadays, operators can apply for a permit in Denmark more easily than before.

The Faroe Islands and Greenland

Both of these are independent areas overseen by Denmark's monarchical system. Still, not all laws are shared.


In 2016, the island decided to abide by the Gambling Act. This can potentially open the doors for future casino endeavours

Faroe Islands

Web-based gaming is still not legalised in the area. It is yet unclear whether any regulations will soon come into effect


The majority of amusement types are not legal in this country. The main exclusion is made for lotteries which are conducted for charity causes. Only a few select volunteer organisations have the power to carry them out.

Conversations about making gambling official in the land come to light occasionally. However, the formal request for that is yet to arrive at the authorities' office.


Local web-based activities have been dependent upon 2 state monopolies. One group is accountable for lotteries, gaming and wagering, while others' specialisation is horse races.

A few years prior, the public authorities reviewed current regulations. This was done to combine the rules in power with improved standards on societal obligations and counteracting irresponsible gaming.

The monopoly privileges of the 2 biggest companies in the area were suggested to be revoked, once again introducing an open business sector. However, the decision still needs to go through. At the same time, Norway's authorities are not considering betting on foreign-owned platforms unlawful for the country's residents.


Gambling business in Sweden

The local digital gaming sector experienced eminent development in 2020, counterbalancing the absence of physical activities when the pandemic shook the world. The overall income for 2020 added up to €2.44 million.

Online activities in this country were overseen with the 2019 document, offering distributors the chance to obtain licences. The specific rule is to let sportsbooks take wagers on any occasion, not only athletic ones.

Let us consider licence payments in the country:

  • there is no limitation on the allowed permits, and they last for 5 years at most;
  • both gambling and betting documents cost about €40,000;
  • the operator needs to pay charges in the range of €3,000 and €50,000 annually;
  • tax collection adds up to 18% of the income brought by local participants.

Recently, the authorities communicated their expectation to restrict access to gaming so that irresponsible activities and the involvement of minors can be combated. It was also planned to assist those who have an addiction. The government is still waiting to take action to accomplish these targets.


Gaming activities in this Northern country are directed by the document of 2001. The state-run monopolistic organisation, which was formed from 3 different groups, holds a patent on all types of gaming.

A change of the guidelines is actively being sought after. In any case, this will not immediately make the market available to private-owned groups. The expressed points are to increase proof checks and expand the prohibition on gaming-related marketing.

Åland Islands

This territory located close to Finland has only one distributor that holds an allowance on all activities.

The group runs web and offline procedures in the area, bringing an annual revenue of €20 million. Benefits are given to the neighbourhood non-benefit associations, which care for the community living on the islands.


Due to the 2008 law, web-based gaming in this country is legal and monitored. Lotteries are monopolised, while other types of gambling can be presented by those owning a licence.

Potential operators can hold as many certificates as they wish, and the legitimacy is of as long as 5 years.

Distributors are required to pay the following:

  1. €47,940 — application expense for casino groups.
  2. €31,960 — charge for bookmakers.
  3. €3,200 — review money.

For gaming establishments, the base budget required is €1 million. At the same time, betting distributors are expected to hold just €130,000. Tax collection adds up to 5% of the distributor's net income and is expected every month.

The digital market has gone through serious development in a short time. It was enhanced from €60.2 million to €78.13 in 2020.


Gambling business in Latvia

Web-based activities in this country are under legal supervision. Documentation can be obtained, aside from lotteries, which are only controlled by one organisation. €307 million was the income for 2019, with a 10.5% yearly growth.

There are special laws that are fairly recent. They are responsible for the regulation of all types of gaming. Distributors can gain permits to offer a massive variety of services. Ambitious operators can receive as many licences as they need, and the requests are being acknowledged. There is no expiry date for a certificate. Still, it needs to be updated every year.

A permit for both virtual and ground activities has a price of €427,000. The sole online licence is €200,000. Reestablishing runs at €37,000, with charges fixed at 10% of the GGR.

The authorities are now discussing the approach to safe gambling and the elimination of issues that go with problematic activities. However, it solely influences physical casinos.


This country's ambitious market skyrocketed in 2019, enlisting a 44.5% yearly development and recording a large rise to €112.6 million.

The sector is overseen by local authorities. According to their rules, all types of wagering and casino entertainment can be presented by operators. In 2020, regulations were slightly altered also to include virtual sports entertainment.

2021 introduced a few more fixes, which cover the following:

  • promo guidelines;
  • tax evasion counteraction;
  • necessities for table entertainment played on distant gadgets.

Licensing documents are accessible, yet distributors can gain one only based on owning a physical casino or another venue. There are unlimited licences, and the authorities are reviewing applications.

€260,000 is the sum that the company needs to have to start a business. Groups need to keep an assurance of €72,400, and the base amount of money needed for running a successful project is somewhat over €1 million. 13% is the set number of tax collections.

The public authorities have proposed the idea of giving fixed licence fees to solely online casinos. Their price is expected to be €500,000.

The Main Things about the Condition of Gambling in Baltic and Nordic Countries

Establishing a web-based gambling club or bookmaker office is quite a difficult challenge. Picking the appropriate area for work is one of the most complicated parts.

Smart Money can assist you with a better understanding of every country's current gambling situation and demands. The studio’s managers will help you focus on the ideal fair for your startup and obtain the essential documentation for it.

Our company also suggests a large number of products and services:

Get in touch with our professionals to start productive cooperation.

Hans Adrian

Hans Adrian

B2b Gambling Business Advisor & Strategist

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