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Interview with Hrvoje Vincetic, Managing Director of Casino Adriatic Opatija, Croatia

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Hrvoje Vincetic was born in Croatia in 1962, the study of Engineering in Agronomy finished at University of Osijek. His casino career started 20 years ago at position of craps dealer in the American Palace Laguna Casino at Poreć, Croatia. Afterward, he has spent 5 years at HIT Casinos Group in Slovenia, over 5 years at Casino Mulino (HR) and over 4 years as Managing Director of Royal Casino (HR). He has managed the Casino Cibalia of the Croatian Lottery in Vinkovci (HR) for about 3 years.

Hrvoje is the Moderator & speaker of the Gambling Tourism panel and moderator of Poker panel at the 8th edition Eastern European Gaming Summit, which will be held 23-24 November, 2015 in Sofia, Bulgaria

EEG: Croatia is looking to regulate the gambling market and enable foreign operators to apply for licensing. Do you see this as a good move by the government? Will it give a push to the economy, but mostly for the tourism?

Hrvoje: The voting for the new law has been postponed several times in the last two years and the end of that tapeworm is not to be seen yet. Foreign operators were being allowed to apply in the past times, too, under certain conditions. Similar as in Bulgaria, foreign operator has to have at least a Ltd Company (or higher company level) registered locally. The present gaming law (and the forthcoming, too) in my country may be named pretty liberal and convenient to make a good investment climate, but… the country itself is poorly populated with barely 4 millions of inhabitants dispersed on huge area. The counting to get enough income from mostly tourist would be a wrong counting because the season of full tourism (and consequently interesting in sense of good income) is too short, based on summer tourism. On the other side, the gaming taxes (which are generally not too high) are due to get paid all year around, with the significant amount that has to be paid on basis of concession fee at the very beginning of every year. The concession holder is due to keep the casino (or any gaming business) open 365 days a year. So, all in all, the potential investor does not really see the opportunity. Croatia, unfortunately, has got no chance to ever become a great gaming tourism destination. The exception may show up in poker tourism, but not without further major investment in people and venues. Gaming/gambling/casinos are to stay “additional touristic offer”, hardly some more. And that would be the beginning and the end of the story.

EEG: Has gambling tourism flourished in Croatia since the country has been accepted by EU to be part of the Union?

Hrvoje: There’s no visible impact on gaming tourism in sense of flourishing, at least not yet. To follow the truth, the tourism itself is kind a flourishing because the average European tourist in the last two years definitely accepted Croatia as secure and very interesting destination, especially regarding prices and natural beauty. The positive impact on gaming tourism is not yet to be in process and, in my modest opinion, won’t really happen soon. Two years from joining the EU seem too short period, especially if one puts too little effort in changing economic climate and in adopting the positive law changes.

There is a huge increment of foreign traffic on Croatian roads towards the touristic destinations; especially this summer but this first wave just slightly touched the gaming venues.

Several live game destinations unfortunately closed their doors in the last 2 years – Umag, Pula, Varaždin, Opatija… and the number of those still operating is pretty reduced with no clear intention of enlargement. But, there are some local and foreign investors announcing investments in casino business. They’ve actually got concessions (5 of them) these days and it’s to be seen how all this story with their investments will finish. Let’s give them some time with the best wishes and hopes.

EEG: In regards to poker, should Eastern European countries try and create their own theme to make this sport more popular locally?

Hrvoje: Yes, that would be great. Since I’m on the operator’s side in Texas Hold’em from 2004 and in poker generally from 1990, I believe for myself to have a good overlook of the poker scene and the poker people (in Eastern Europe) at the very moment. I know some individuals with great capacities to make something big; really huge of the EE poker. Probably less with the online and more with the land-based poker.

But, these individuals are very busy to make their daily income and they need kind of string to pull them all together into the same swimming pool. Is it realistic to expect them to join their forces and to make a “big story” and make that beautiful poker community closer to an average Janez, Piszta, Ivan or Dimitri…? There is no unambiguous answer. But, I’m looking forward to it!

If you would like to get the unique opportunity to ask all your important questions and learn first-hand details, be sure to attend the Eastern European Gaming Summit at which Hrvoje Vincetic shall give his expert opinion. For 8th consecutive year on 23 – 24 November 2015, Inter Expo Center in Sofia, Bulgaria will bring together under one roof world’s leading figures and companies from the industry to present and outline current market developments and future trends with global vision and focus on the Eastern European market.

Visit the EEGS website here.

Bulgaria

Online gaming revenues surge in Bulgaria

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Online-gaming-revenues-Bulgaria Online gaming revenues surge in BulgariaReading Time: 1 minute

The Bulgarian Trade Association of Manufacturers and Operators in the Gaming Industry’s (BTAMOI) reports that the country’s online gaming revenues showed a growth in the last financial year. The industry paid €57 million in taxes to government, which corresponds to a 17 per cent rise year on year. BTAMOI said in a press release: “For the period 2017/2018 the gaming industry in Bulgaria has shown very good results at national level, based on the country’s upward economic performance.”

The online gambling segment in Bulgaria represents about 10 per cent of the country’s total gambling market. The segment posted a revenue of €89 million in the nine months to September 30, a spike of 30 per cent compared to the figure same time last year.

Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network

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Bulgaria

Bulgaria adds more websites to iGaming blacklist

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Bulgaria-iGaming-blacklist Bulgaria adds more websites to iGaming blacklistReading Time: 1 minute

The State Commission on Gambling (SCG) of Bulgaria has added four more websites to its blacklist of iGaming companies that are operating without a license.

The four websites added to the blacklist as per order no. 1913 of October 28 and no. 1991 of November 9 are nissicasino.com, 1xbet72.com, pokernox.com, 1xdcxc.host.

The SCG periodically updates the list of illegal gambling sites.

The State Commission on Gambling has been established for the purpose of inspecting the compliance with the law of the activity of the gambling games organisers, the producers of gabling game equipment, the distributors and service organisations for the maintenance and repair works of such equipment performed on the territory of Bulgaria.

Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network

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Balkan's

49 gamblers turn millionaires in 2017 in Bulgaria

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National Revenue Agency (NRA) of Bulgaria has reported that 49 gamblers in the country became millionaires in 2017 alone. The agency has also stated that the total winnings from gambling received Bulgarian gamblers in 2017 amounted to BGN 627 million.

The report also indicates that as many as 13,447 Bulgarian gamblers have won more than 5,000 BGN last year.

The biggest winning was 9,815,422 BGN, and the game is not specified. The second biggest winning amounted to BGN 7.9 million, the third place was 5.7 million BGN. The other TOP 10 winners of the ranking have won from 4 to 5 million levs, the NRA reports. A total of 49 Bulgarians have become millionaires due to gambling last year with their winnings over 1 mln BGN.

80 Bulgarians have won between BGN 500,000 and BGN 1 million. Most gamblers, 12,395 people were lucky to receive winnings between BGN 5,000 and BGN 100,000.

The NRA statistics is not segmented by type of gambling because such information was not collected. However, it is clear from the tax agency data that the biggest winning was paid by companies which are the lottery operators.

The National Lottery has paid more than 5,000 levs to 6,209 people, according to official data from the NRA. Eurobet has provided such prizes to 259 people, New Games reported about 672 winners.

Since the lottery operators are required by law to pay out at least 50 per cent of the value of the bets, it can be concluded that turnover of lotteries is about BGN 1 billion in Bulgaria.

 

Source: E-PLAY Online

Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network

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