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Organisation of remote gambling

I Application requirements of operating permit for gambling as remote gambling


Remote gambling is the organisation of gambling in a manner where the outcome of the game is determined by an electronic device and the player can participate in the game by electronic means of communication, including telephone, the Internet and media services.

Gambling is not considered remote gambling where electronic means of communication are used only for receiving bets, informing about the outcome of the game or transferring the amount of prizes to the account of a player.

An operating permit for gambling is issued separately for organising a type or a subtype of gambling as remote gambling.
An operating permit for remote gambling is issued for up to five years.

In order to obtain an operating permit for remote gambling, an application indicating the following shall be submitted to the Estonian Tax and Customs Board:

  1. the name and registry code of the applicant;
  2. the seat and contact details of the applicant;
  3. the type or subtype of gambling;
  4. the address of the location of the server containing the software used for organising remote gambling and the IP address;
  5. the name and position of the contact person of the gambling operator and, where possible, the name and contact details of the IT support person;
  6. the name, position and signature (incl. the digital signature) of the person completing the application;
  7. the term of the operating permit which is applied for;
  8. the date of payment of the state fee (the state fee is to be paid before the submission of the application).

The following shall be appended to the application for an operating permit for remote gambling:

  1. information about the gaming equipment used for organising gambling;
  2. the rules of the game (§ 35 of the Gambling Act);
  3. an overview of the security measures to be applied in the gaming location and upon organising the game;
  4. information on how the protection of the data of the persons participating in the game will be secured in accordance with the Personal Data Protection Act (§ 6. Principles of processing of personal data);
  5. the information regarding the software (IT solution) used for organising gambling as remote gambling, incl. layout-designs of servers, the name of the software of the game, the manufacturer, the process diagram of the solution involving the services regarding the verification of the authentication of a player, the age limit and restrictions on playing games of chance.
  6. independent expert assessment on the compliance of the software used for organising remote gambling with the requirements provided for in clause 8;
  7. telephone numbers, website addresses and the contact details enabling to participate in gambling;
  8. information on the current accounts used for intermediation of payments between the operator and players.
  9. evidence regarding the legal basis and possibilities of the supervisory authority for gambling and of the authority dealing with prevention of money laundering in the country of location of the server to cooperate with the Estonian Tax and Customs Board and the Financial Intelligence Unit if the server is not located in Estonia or in a state that is a party to the Convention on Cybercrime, and the Estonian Tax and Customs Board and the Financial Intelligence Unit do not have a cooperation agreement with the competent authorities of the country of location of the server regarding exchange of information on gambling supervision.

The gambling operator shall immediately inform the Estonian Tax and Customs Board about all changes in the information submitted for obtaining the activity licence or operating permit.

For giving an assessment on the compliance of the software used for organising remote gambling an independent expert must have technical and mental readiness and acknowledged competence. The conformity of an independent expert is assumed in the case of an authority, person, enterprise or laboratory by having an ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation acknowledged in the EU.

An expert is independent if the manufacturer, operator or importer of the software used for the organisation of remote gambling cannot exercise such influence on the personal or economic level that the result of the assessment might depend on it.

The Estonian Tax and Customs Board shall publish on its website a list of experts whose assessments shall be accepted by the Estonian Tax and Customs Board without supplementary evidence to be submitted.

If gambling is organised as remote gambling, the Estonian Tax and Customs Board may require at any time the submission of an independent expert assessment regarding the compliance of the used software with the requirements provided for in clause 8.

The independent expert assessment shall be in writing and include the confirmation of the compliance of gaming equipment with the requirements of clause 8 or include the data unambiguously proving the compliance with the requirements provided for in clause 8. The independent expert assessment shall confirm, inter alia, that the software used for the organisation of gambling as remote gambling includes a random number generator (RNG) for determining prizes.
 

II Conditions for organisation of remote gambling


1. Restrictions on participation in remote gambling:
1.1. a person under 21 years of age shall not play a game of chance organised as remote gambling or a game of skill organised as remote gambling;
1.2. persons under 18 years of age shall not play a toto;
1.3. persons under 16 years of age shall not play a lottery.

2. Hardware and software, used for organisation of remote gambling, shall ensure that the average amount distributed to players as a result of a game shall exceed 80 percent of the total amount of all bets.

3. Upon organisation of a game of chance as remote gambling the operator shall establish a system of measures which ensures that a person entered in the list of restrictions on playing games of chance shall not be allowed to play.

4. The value of a prize of a game of skill organised as remote gambling shall not exceed 50 euros.

5. A server containing the software used for the organisation of remote gambling shall store data regarding the registration, identification and verification of the identity of a player, verification of the compliance with the age limit, verification of restrictions on playing games of chance, start of a gaming session, and logging in and out.

5.1. If the server is not located in Estonia, the organiser of remote gambling shall, before starting to use the server for the organisation of remote gambling, provide the Estonian Tax and Customs Board with evidence that the gambling supervisory authority and the authority dealing with prevention of money laundering in the country of location of the server have a legal basis and possibilities to cooperate with the Estonian Tax and Customs Board and the Financial Intelligence Unit.

5.2. The server(s) shall store data in the non-aggregated form (incl the amounts transferred to the settlement account of the gambling operator, the amounts of bets made by every player and the amounts of prizes won) which is the basis for mandatory reporting on gambling and taxation. The organiser must take sufficient security measures to ensure the availability, integrity and confidentiality of the aforesaid data, according to the security class T2S2K2 (see the regulation (ISKE) on Three-Level IT Baseline Security System (in Estonian)).

5.3. It is not required to submit the evidence regarding the legal basis and possibilities to cooperate as specified in clause 5.1 if the server is located in a state that is a party to the Convention on Cybercrime, or whose competent authorities have entered into a cooperation agreement with the Estonian Tax and Customs Board and the Financial Intelligence Unit regarding exchange of information on gambling supervision.

5.4. The possessor of a server containing the software used for the organisation of remote gambling and the organiser of remote gambling shall ensure unrestricted access for supervisory officials to the data referred to in clause 5.

6. While organising gambling as remote gambling, the gaming operator shall ensure:
1) measures to avoid providing any gambling opportunities to persons who are younger than the age set out in clause 1 (restrictions on participation in remote gambling);
2) the identification of every player;
3) the registration of every player’s forename and surname, personal identification code or date of birth in the absence of a personal identification code, and the time and date of entering and exiting the gaming environment;
4) the keeping of record of the bets made by every player, payments transferred to the account of the gambling operator for the making of bets, refunds made and prizes distributed to players;
5) the acceptance of bets and payments transferred to the account of the gambling operator for the making of bets only from the settlement account of the same player or from a player in the gaming location of the same gambling operator;
6) the making of distributions only to the same settlement account, from which the player has transferred a payment for the making of bets in gambling;
7) an unrestricted access for supervisory officials to the gaming equipment used for the organisation of remote gambling.
8) measures for hindering the persons entered in the list of restrictions on playing games of chance to play games of chance (Subsection 39 (6) of the Gambling Act).

6.1. The Estonian Tax and Customs Board suggests using services of authentication by AS Sertifitseerimiskeskus (SK) (Certification Centre) (ID-card, Mobiil-ID) or a bank (through an Internet bank) for identification of a player and his/her age and for authentication of a player.

6.2. The information specified in subclauses 2,3 and 4 of clause 6 shall be stored for at least five years in a manner enabling to produce such information while responding to an inquiry from the Estonian Tax and Customs Board, the police or the Financial Intelligence Unit.

7. While organising gambling as remote gambling, the operator shall disclose to every player:
1) the name and address of the gambling operator, and the numbers of the decisions on the issue of the activity licence and operating permit;
2) the rules of the game or a reference to the website where the rules are available;
3) a reference to the requirements deriving from § 34 of the Gambling Act;
4) an attention-drawing warning regarding the addictive nature of gambling and the contact details of the organisations that assist gambling addicts;
5) information on all the expenses deriving from the making of bets or distribution of prizes, which shall be incurred by the player or which shall be set off against a prize won by the player or against the payments transferred to the account of the gambling operator for the making of bets.

8. The gaming equipment used for the organisation of remote gambling shall ensure with sufficient certainty that:
1) the randomness of determining the outcome of a game of gambling cannot be influenced by the gambling operator or any other person;
2) the data of significant importance in playing a game of gambling shall be stored if the game is interrupted, irrespective of the reason for such interruption;
3) the interruptions of a game, the results of a game and any alterations made in the gaming system shall be recorded.

8.1. The gaming equipment used for the organisation of remote gambling shall record in a log file the entry into the system and exit from the system and the time of making of alterations and the maker of alteration to the system.

8.2. The data specified in subclauses 2 and 3 of clause 8 shall be stored at least five years in a manner enabling to produce such information while responding to an inquiry from the Estonian Tax and Customs Board, the Police and Border Guard Board or the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Criminal Police.

9. The organiser must ensure protection of players in remote gambling with following:
1) Before allowing a player to play a game for the first time, the gambling operator shall conspicuously present the opportunity to set an upper limit for the amount that the player will be ready to lose as a result of gambling with the given operator during a week or a month.
2) An operator is prohibited from accepting bets that may increase the loss of a player beyond a limit set by the player.
3) The upper limit is to be freely elected, raised and lowered by a player.
4) A gambling operator shall not raise the upper limit if the player has not confirmed the respective request at least within 48 hours after submitting the request.
5) A gambling operator shall lower the upper limit as soon as the player has submitted the respective request.

10. Clear information on for how long a player has been playing shall be continuously displayed to the player, and the player shall be enabled to access the data regarding the bets made and prizes won by him or her.

11. The organiser can potentially use the procedure set out in § 17 of the Regulation No. 9 of the Minister of Finance of 5 February 2010 Establishment of List of Persons Subject to Restrictions on Playing Games of Chance and Approval of Statutes for the verification of restrictions on playing games of chance.

11.1. The organiser of a game of chance may use the data entered into the list for verification of the existence of restrictions on playing games of chance only:
1) on the basis of an identification document presented by a person entering a gaming location for games of chance (an individual inquiry through the X-road service or machine-to-machine interface);
2) on the basis of another system of actions harmonised previously with the chief processor (replication solution through the X-road service).

12. The electronic recordkeeping and control system (EAKS) of a gambling operator shall be connected with the information system of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board in accordance with subsection 58 (10) of the Gambling Act.

12.1. EAKS must comply with the services specification of the Electronic Gambling Reporting System (EHMA)  (761.41 KB, PDF).

If you have any questions, please contact us at hasart@emta.ee.


 

30.08.2017