The Latest Online Casino Development in The Balkans: The Situation in Croatia 

With the most prominent casino markets being the UK, the U.S. and Australia, looking at the Eastern European casinos might seem obscure. However, more things are happening on the Eastern side of the continent. More and new regulations are being implemented in these countries, ultimately changing how the casino industry runs. Therefore, it is worth looking at Croatia, where beautiful beaches and new casinos might attract new tourists.  

Croatia’s Casino History 

To give a crash course on Croatia’s history, Croatia was a part of Yugoslavia before it became an independent state in 1991. Before this, Croatia’s gambling laws fell under the laws of Yugoslavia. However, after its independence and addition to the European Union, this opened a new gateway to the casino industry. As hotels opened large casinos, tourism gambling snowballed.  

But the gambling didn’t stop there. The wave of online gambling came later, in 2010, to be exact. This paved the way for Croatians to visit online casinos at sites like to explore online poker, slot machines, betting and much more. 

No Longer A State Monopoly

There are several types of gambling available in Croatia. Casino games, poker, lottery, keno and betting are among those gambling services. Croatia has a state lottery, which was established back in 1973. While the government used to monopolize lottery games, as the gambling laws were introduced in the 2010s, private operators could now offer gambling services online. 

It was an excellent opportunity for new operators trying to get a spot in the market. Because of regulations, these casino operators are required to meet specific standards from the Gambling Commission. However, many operators see this as a better option than not being granted access at all.

The Situation for New Casinos 

For new casino operators who want to enter the market, it is required to apply for a license. There are different types of licenses, depending on which kind of casino they manage. These license fees can be pretty high, and the application process can easily take four weeks. Furthermore, the operators are required to maintain a land-based casino in the country. Because some foreign operators have tried to avoid getting a license, some have been put on a ban list and earned a fee.    

Responsible Playing 

To play at a Croatian casino, players must be above 18 years of age. The Croatian government has made strides in making the gambling environment safer. This is why casinos need licenses, as the National Gambling Office monitors and supervises gambling activities. It ensures transparency and more secure playing for gamblers. 

The Next 10 Years 

The license fee for getting admitted to the casino market is currently very high. It is likely a move from the government to control the different operators better so the market doesn’t get too saturated. In the future, it is not unlikely that more casino operators will get access to the market. If the Croatian economy benefits enough from online gambling, the government could decide to seize the opportunity, as has been done in other countries.  


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