European Commission denies reports of Croatia gambling law approval

European Commission denies reports of Croatia gambling law approval

Friday, November 14, 2014

A spokesperson for the European Commission has denied reports that the European Union’s operative body has given its approval to proposed gambling laws in Croatia, under which the country could launch a regulated online poker service.

Various reports in the media had suggested that the body had granted its approval to lawmakers in the country to progress to the next stage of inducting the new law.

When contacted by TotallyGaming.com, European Commission spokesperson Lucía Caudet denied that the body had given its approval to the new law and insisted that the body had only registered its opinion.

“The Commission has issued a detailed opinion concerning a recently notified draft law on gambling,” Caudet told TotallyGaming.com.

“The standstill period has expired in September, and in principle Croatia could adopt the law, though, under Directive 98/34/EC, the Commission is supposed to give its final view on the explanation sent to us and Croatia is aware that we will do so.

“So, it's unclear where any idea of ‘approval’ has come from.”

The Croatian legislation will reportedly require operators wishing to offer services to Croatian players to obtain a specific gambling licence from the country's Ministry of Finance, pay a start-up fee of HRK3 million (€391,212/$487,818) and commit to an annual fee of the same amount.

Such companies would also have to meet certain financial criteria to guarantee their own financial stability and would be subject to a certain taxation structure, under which they would have to pay a five-per-cent monthly levy on gross revenue.

In addition, operators would have to establish a tiered incremental tax that players would pay on winnings.

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