New Croatia Online Poker Legislation asks for £315,000 Tax Annually

The European Commission (EC) approved the Croatian government’s newly introduced gambling legislation last week. The legislation now allows Croatia to launch an open online poker market.

Shark playing Poker

Operators seeking to apply to the country’s upcoming online poker market must gain a government-certified gambling license from the Ministry of Finance. Application requires payment of 3 million Croatian kuna (approximately £315,000) and an annual fee of the same amount.

Operators must also comply with other financial criteria to serve as bank deposit of the same value (£315,000). The legislature claimed that this would prove the company’s financial stability.

Additionally, operators will also have to manage two different taxes from the government. The first is a static 5 percent levy on gross revenues, and the other is an incremental, tier-based tax on individual players’ winnings.

Winnings of between 750 and 10,000 kuna (approximately £78 to £1,045) are subject to a 10 percent tax, up to 30,000 kuna (approximately £3,135) are taxed at 15 percent, up to 500,000 kuna (approximately £52,256) are taxed at 20 percent tax, and anything more gets a 30 percent tax. Operators must reserve the appropriate amount from the winnings and take care of it in place of the players.

Croatia is not the only European country undergoing changes to its gambling legislation. The United Kingdom is a few weeks deep into its new UK Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act, which requires remote online operators to apply for a taxed gambling license from the UK Gambling Commission. This legislation has forced several operators, such as SBOBet, out of the British market.

Likewise, Romanian legislators have been discussing changes to make the country’s market more attractive to foreign companies. Possible changes would reduce and eliminate many taxes through the current system.

Now that the Croatian legislation has been approved by the EC, it may be officially introduced into the Croatian parliament. It is expected to launch sometime in the middle of 2015.