Online gambling in Europe is becoming increasingly regulated, with almost no countries left that hasn't got some sort of law in their country. Now it's Croatia's turn to begin to integrate online gambling laws and regulations, as their outline has been approved by the European Commission.
Basically this means that online poker in Croatia will become fully legal and that the players will not be ring-fenced, but instead be able to play against everyone else on .com sites. As the Croatian market is not that big, it made no sense to go in the same direction as the US, Italy or Spain and ring-fence the players.
While it seems like positive news that Croatia players can now play online poker completely legal, it also comes with a few downsides. The biggest one being that operators once again have to purchase a license to operate in the country, which will limit the amount of sites that will actually enter the market.
A license is set to cost around $500,000, with the same amount in an annual fee paid to the state. Furthermore the operators will be paying 5% of their revenues in tax and deposit money in the state bank equal to the same amount as the license costs. This will discourage most of the smaller and medium operators from trying to enter the market and we will most likely end up with Pokerstars and a handful more operators only.
From a players point of view, the new regulations isn't all good as they will now have to pay tax off their winnings. The minimum amount of tax on winnings is set to 10% for HRK750 in winnings and if you win more, you will have to pay a higher percentage in tax.