Croatian Lottery Chooses Intralot
The Croatian Lottery (Hrvatska Lutrija d.o.o.) has extended its partnership agreement with Intralot and expects it will be the first Croatian operator to launch a platform of online casino games. The online casino games are expected to be launched during Q1 2011.
The Croatian Lottery initially negotiated with other suppliers. Playtech has existing deals in the region, having first entered the lottery market through a partnership with the Serbian Lottery.
Intralot first entered the Croatian market as a supplier of an interactive gaming system to the state lottery in April 2009. The initial contract was signed for one year with possible yearly extensions. The instalment of the initial multi-channel gaming platform allowed the development of new interactive 3D games and the support of existing lottery games, including Lotto, Keno, Joker, TV Bingo, Super Bingo, and Fixed-Odds sports betting games.
When the law first became effective no Croatian based operators had an existing Internet offer, but bookmakers Fortuna and Super Sport launched their online products just in time for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Three months later, in September 2010, the Croatian Lottery established its online portfolio. The initial offer consisted of classic lotto games such as: Loto 7/39, Loto 6/45, TV Bingo, Keno and sports betting.
It was expected that the Croatian Lottery would be the first company to offer Internet gaming but its launch was delayed due to problems with internally developed software. Until that point, the lottery used internally developed software for all its games, including TV bingo which most other companies in the region buy externally.
The expansion into the online market proved profitable for the state lottery as the first four months of internet sales accounted for 9% of total lottery turnover, up from 7% in the first six weeks. The company estimates this number will reach 30% within two years.
As Croats are known sports fanatics, it is no surprise sports betting is the most popular segment of Internet Gaming. The Internet accounted for 19% of total sports betting turnover for the Croatian Lottery in the first four months of operation. The percentage of revenues coming from online games is much smaller for lottery games than for sports betting, ranging from 1% to 7% in the first six weeks.
In the first 30 days, the Croatian Lottery had 6,000 registered players via the Internet.
In January 2011, the Croatian Lottery expanded its relationship with Intralot. The new agreement will provide a certified Keno random number generator to land based and internet operations, as well as deliver three new series of electronic scratch cards.
Although no other Croatian-based bricks and mortar operators have applied for an online casino licence, global operators such as bwin, Unibet, bet-at-home, Bet365, have strengthened their presence in the market. They are hoping for growth in their market share as general advertisements of online gambling in the country increase. Statistically, Unibet and bwin are two most recognised names in Croatia despite their offshore status.