GiG Enters Croatian Market
The business side of the online gambling world is always filled with mergers, purchases and other types of deals that are heavily influenced by the regulatory bodies in question and the resulting strategies that software developers and operators use within those frameworks.
This is the case with a recent move that Gaming Innovation Group has made into the Croatian market with their purchase of a majority of the Top Games company.
The whole idea behind this type of move is largely to gain access to a market that they previously did not have access to, and that’s exactly what they’re getting with the purchase. The Croatian market in particular is interesting because of how protected it is from outside operators by a particularly restrictive regulatory setup, so entry into a country like this is obviously a big deal.
What to Know About Croatia’s Online Gambling Scene
The first thing to know is that the country of Croatia only has five online casino operators who are licensed to offer games in the country. The population of Croatia is a little over 4 million, so it’s not a tiny country by any means, and they have a serious core population who loves to gamble as a form of what some people would call cultural expression.
Within Croatia, the online gambling regulatory system is incredibly strict. They block unlicensed operators on the IP level, and they pull in over 360 million a year in gross gambling receipts. That’s a high rate for the size of the population, and with so little competition, it’s easy to see why GiG worked so hard to get in on the action along these lines.
With that having been said, the lack of competition also means that players aren’t used to having as much choice when it comes to quality of games, promotions and other parts of the online casino experience. In turn, that means that the entry of a juggernaut like GiG is going to be good for the people who are trying to enjoy the games as well.
Strategic Expansion Into New Markets
A key component of this deal is the larger, big picture strategy involved. With the disjointed setup of regulatory schemas in which each country has its own set of rules and regulations that have to be abided by, the fact of the matter is that it’s become a virtual game of Risk in a lot of ways where operators like Gaming Innovation Group (and software companies as well) are trying to get representation in as many markets as they can.
The reason for this is that more markets means more access to larger pools of players.
Unfortunately for them, it’s not always as easy as just applying for and being granted a license. Croatia is a good example of a country that only gives out so many licenses to avoid flooding the market, and that means that trying to enter a situation with a market like this requires other tactics.
In this case, as we have seen in many other situations, the choice was to purchase a majority of a company that already has a license. Namely, this is Top Games, not to be confused with the now defunct Top Game software company that was rebranded into Pragmatic Play.
What to Expect
For now, GiG is expecting an official launch in the first half of 2020 with further developments throughout the year. A lot has to happen before they can get their games actually going, but with the groundwork laid, it’s clear that they will be a dominant force in the online gambling market of Croatia by the end of next year.