January 17, 2017 / by: Gray Peterson
The first licensed online poker room, SuperSport, was launched in Croatia last week, and according to various reports, the poker room has already beaten its traffic expectations.
The host website for this poker room was expected to launch in mid-2016, but it was delayed amid various regulatory concerns by the owners. The Croatian Gambling Law considers all licenses to be valid from January 1st when they are issued to December 31st when they become obsolete. For any operator to get a free pass to offer gambling services in Croatia, they are supposed to pay a licensing fee of about €600,000.
The short expiry date of the license and the fee charged were viewed by many as the main reasons as to why SuperSport delayed their launch. If they went live in mid last year, they would have paid the same amount charged for a year even though it was half-way.
Croatia becomes the next member to join the other 27 states of the European Union that have agreed to amend their local gambling laws so that they can comply with the standard EU requirements. Croatia commenced the amendment of its gambling laws in 2013. They handed in their proposed changes to the European Commission which approved them after a thorough evaluation in 2014.
Despite receiving the go-ahead sign from the European Union, nothing much happened in the country until lately when they gave licensure to SuperSport. Casino, Lottery, sports betting, bingo, and poker, are regulated in Croatia. Besides the lottery services which are offered by the state monopoly, operators can apply for licenses to provide any form of gambling listed above.
SuperSport is a household name in Croatia since they have been in this market for thirteen years. They take pride in owning a small land-based casino as well as a decent number of betting shops within the Croatian borders. The brand boasts of providing players with online sport betting services for more than seven years.
The newly launched online poker room offers No-Limit Hold’em variants only as software which is in beta mode. The owners of this poker site stated that they love the response they are receiving from players, and they are looking forward to adding more poker games in the future.
SuperSport will be accessible to players from foreign jurisdictions excluding those from the US and a few other countries. However, since the site utilizes the local currency, it is expected that much of the traffic will be from local players.
Although poker is a favorite game category for many players in Croatia, the newly opened online market may inhibit its expansion. This is mainly because the requirements proposed for physical presence by the Croatian gambling law might scare away big names and make them explore newly regulated markets.