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Betting in Croatia

Published on: 30/11/2015

The former country of Yugoslavia comprised of six republics, Croatia being one of them. The government’s gambling regulations meant that citizens could only place one type of sports bet at their state-controlled outlets. This bet involved choosing the outcomes of 13 football games in the same week When Croatia gained independence in 1991, sports gambling was permitted and new betting companies were able to open legally. Prva Sportska Kladionica (PSK) and Sport Tip were established and quickly dominated the Croatian gambling market. Both companies attracted huge business, especially during popular sporting events. Sometime later, foreign gambling companies from Germany and Great Britain took the opportunity to open betting shops in Croatia. However, when the authorities later amended its tax legislations, many smaller bookmakers closed down leaving the state-controlled bookmaker in command of the country’s gambling industry.

The Croatian government has a stake in 20 gambling establishments and approximately 30 slot machine venues (automat klubs) throughout the country. Many of them can be found in the capital of Zagreb. The biggest gambling halls in the nation are located in the popular holiday destination of Buje, Plovanija, where the Casino Minerva can be found. The venue is open seven days a week from 8pm to 3am. It has over 30 gambling tables and 250 slot machines on offer. Licensed establishments can legally run casinos in Croatia and, as is normal practice, punters must be over 18 years old. Many venues include poker along with an array of other popular card and betting games.

A state company called Hrvatska Lutrija organises national and sports lotteries and supervises all gambling at venues across the country. The organisation is also responsible for online betting.

The sports betting website known as PSK was the first company to provide online gambling services for Serbian events. However, at that time punters could only wager by visiting PSK venues in person. These days, hundreds of online sportsbooks provide all forms of gambling activities, many of which facilitate the English language and approximately 15 that operate in the Croatian language

A popular online sportsbook known as BetAdria - which uses SGS Universal software - is the only one of its kind to date and is available in a number of the country’s most commonly-used languages.

In Croatia, Kuna is the official system of money in circulation. However internet gambling sites generally trade in the Euro. Visa reports suggest almost 2,000 web sites welcome wagers from punters with Croatian addresses and over 50 sportsbooks use the Croatian language on their web sites including familiar gambling companies like Expect, Ladbrokes and Unibet.

Croatian customers can also use MasterCard at nearly 2000 English language websites of which around 50 provide customer support in Croatian. NETeller, eWallets and Moneybookers also partner with more than 1,500 sportsbooks that welcome Croatian players. Under proposals to become part of the European Union and in order to conform to NATO guidelines, the country aims to broaden its gambling industry further. This venture has resulted in deals with other countries such as Greece who now provide technology and content for some of Croatia’s online casinos.