Talk of privatisation of the state-owned Croatian Lottery appear every few years, the last time being in 2013, but this time there might be something to it. In late January 2015 local media reported that an unnamed Minister unofficially confirmed the speculation surrounding possible privatisation. 2015 is an election year in Croatia and the ruling coalition does not enjoy wide support, so it is believed that the IPO of a successful company, along with the state electric supply company, could bring more votes for the ruling coalition. It is understood that the state will sell 25% of the Lottery to its own citizens, including the lottery’s employees and local pension funds. Sale to a foreign entity is unlikely in an election year because foreign takeovers have negative connotations in Croatia.
The Lottery has recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, and besides being the lottery monopoly, it also operates betting (11% of the market in 2013), casinos (7%) and gaming halls (5%). It was also the third operator to start selling its products via the Internet when it was legalised in 2010. Despite the total turnover of HRK 1.24bn, in 2012 the lottery operated at a loss of HRK 16.6m. In 2013 it returned to profit thanks to growing revenues, with turnover of HRK 1.28bn (US$ 188m) bringing in profit of HRK 11m (US$ 1.6m).