Like many European countries, Croatia has legalised online casino gaming, with four different tiers of gambling games officially recognised in the county. Online betting is regulated in Croatia, and that naturally means that there is a set of rules which must be followed by any operator or player wishing to partake in the Croatian internet gambling industry. So, what and where can you play? Let’s look at Croatia in closer detail.
Is Online Gambling Legal in Croatia?
As mentioned, betting online in the Southern European country is perfectly legal, under certain conditions. The gambling authorities in Croatia drafted a law in 2014, known as “zakon o igrama na sreu”, and it is this law which determines which games players in the nation are permitted to play. Legal gambling games in Croatia include lottery and bingo games, sports betting, chance games such as scratch cards, as well as online slots. Games of skill, such as poker aren’t explicitly mentioned. Although there are no poker sites in the country, Croatia doesn’t have a problem letting their players join in the fun at foreign sites if they fancy their chances at games of skill.
Now, back to online casino websites. Any operator which wishes to provide their services legally to players in the country must pay a $500,000 fee, which gets them a license from the nation’s gambling authorities. That is quite a high price, and understandably, that has put off many international casino enterprises from setting up shop in Croatia. However, players needn’t worry too much. Even though there are only a handful of bona fide Croatian casinos around, the nation has not decided to blacklist offshore, foreign or international casinos. This means that players in the country have the pick of the litter when it comes to choosing somewhere to play.
Croatian Online Casinos
Since Croatian players are quite literally able to play at local and foreign sites, many might wonder what the perks to playing at a casino which is licensed in the country could be. For starters, any Croatian licensed casino will be able to guarantee gameplay in the Croatian language. Moreover, such sites will also permit the kuna to be used as your currency of choice. On top of that, homegrown casinos will also carry a range of games which have proven themselves popular with citizens in the country.
Croatian casino sites are not known to be particularly hostile to taking on players from outside the nation, either. This can be very handy for any expats who happen to live in other EU member states, or indeed elsewhere in the world. Some casinos are also tied-in to land-based venues in the beautiful country, so they can offer a more realistic and authentic experience than some run-of-the-mill international domains. Of course, there are perks to playing “abroad” too, so let’s look at some of those.
Offshore Casino Sites for Croatian Players
Many European countries tend to cut off access to any casinos which are not licensed by national gambling authorities. Croatia is not one of those. Not only do they not prohibit access to foreign sites for their players, but the gambling commission in the nation also doesn’t really trouble itself with punishing offshore operators either. This means that Croatian residents can, in theory, play at any online casino in the world. The country is one of the few EU member states to fully adhere to EU law regarding fair play and competition in this regard.
Offshore casinos (including many big international casino sites) tend to take advantage of this and offer their services to players in Croatia. However, just because they are accepting of players in the country doesn’t mean that they go out of their way to cater to them. Few offshore casinos will offer the Croatian language or the kuna currency. Most importantly, Croatian players are likely going to have to seek assistance from customer support in English if they wish to play at foreign casino domains.
There are pros and cons to choosing either of the two available types of casinos, and each player will likely make up their own mind. Of course, by opting to play at a genuine Croatian licensed casino, players will probably find everything to their liking, even if the range of games available may be smaller than at more internationally renowned offshore sites.
Is Anything Likely to Change in the Future?
This is a complicated question to ask regarding this country. For the moment, Croatia seems more than happy to reap the rewards of having officially licensed countries, while at the same time giving their citizens the choice to play elsewhere. Given that, things are unlikely to change at any point in the immediate future. However, with more and more EU countries opting to cut out offshore casinos and take control of gambling regulations on a national level, you can never say that a change couldn’t be in the wind.
For instance, until very recently, Sweden was regarded as one of the most open and accepting nations when it came to national and offshore casinos. In January 2019, they suddenly changed their laws, and cracked down on any non-Swedish licensed sites, as many other EU member states have done. It would not come as a surprise if Croatia followed suit in the future, particularly if it was financially beneficial for them to do so.
Top Croatian Casino Sites
For Croatian online casino players, the world is currently their oyster. Almost all casinos (major or otherwise) are open and available to them. Of course, players should always be advised to play at a Croatian-licensed site, but there are plenty of internationally recognised casinos which may be worth a punt.
Some of those offshore or foreign casinos which cater to Croatians include Paradise Casino, Cleopatra, Mr Play, bgo Casino, BetWay Casino, Trada Casino, and Fruity Casa, as well as Gate 777, Get Lucky, Rizk Casino, Casino Pop and many more. You can find a full list of Croatian-friendly casinos right here.