Historical Overview of Online Gambling in Croatia
Gambling in Croatia has a long history that dates back to the 1960s, with limited forms of gambling allowed during communist times, primarily for football games. The first government-licensed casino opened its doors in 1991 but only offered betting at dedicated gaming booths or shops.
In 2009, the Game of Chance Act was passed, which allowed for the creation of land-based casinos, providing players with more options. However, the introduction of a 20% VAT saw small gambling operators exit the market, leaving lotteries and bingo as the main sources of government revenue.
When Croatia became an EU member state, its gambling rules had to align with other member states. License fees were introduced for all casino operators, leading to a thriving gambling culture with online casinos now keen to tap into the market.
The Legal Status of Online Casinos in Croatia
The regulation of online gambling in Croatia began in 2010. The Ministry of Finance implemented the Gambling Act. To operate legally, online casinos in Croatia must obtain a license from the Ministry of Finance. The licensing requirements involve proving technical competence and financial stability and making a deposit of at least 400,000 euros.
Apart from the licensing criteria, online casinos in Croatia must also adhere to rigorous standards concerning player protection and responsible gambling. These regulations involve offering self-exclusion options and implementing measures to prevent underage gambling.