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On this page you will find information (scroll down) about:

  1. The Croatian language and the challenges of iGaming localisation.
  2. The Croatian gaming market, particularly regulation/legality of online gaming.

The Croatian language and
the challenges of gaming localisation

Gaming content in Croatian, much like in English, targets young people aged between 18 and 34, which means that its style is usually straightforward, informal and easy-going. The rule of the thumb for this target audience, the Croats, is that they have good understanding of the English language, and are therefore well acquainted with gaming, poker, and casino terminology in English.

Gaming websites are often poorly translated in Croatian due to lack of functional testing.

They will not mind if they come across a word in English, such as “casino” instead of the Croatian equivalent “kasino”. And this is the main pitfall in gaming, poker and website translations into Croatian. What should and what should not be left in English?

Gaming websites are often poorly translated in Croatian due to lack of functional testing. For example, one simple word such as “bet” can be translated in Croatian in numerous ways. It can be translated as a noun “oklada”, a prediction, or “ulog”, a stake, or as a verb in imperative form “kladi se”, or as “klađenje”, a nominal verb.

So, if these people understand and speak English, it would be safest to leave “bet” as is. But that is not so, because target audience of gaming websites expect to see buttons, menus and instructions in Croatian if they chose Croatian version. The best solution for gaming websites translated in Croatian is to have them translated in full, but also functionally tested before publication to see that each term fits the context properly.

The same goes for all translations in the field: poker, gaming, casino, website localization. For example, you publish an online slot game called “Wizard of Oz”. And you will request that the name of this game remains in English. The first dilemma of the translator will be whether to translate other commonly known names, such as “The Scarecrow”. Should it be “Scarecrow” or “Strašilo” as it is commonly known in Croatia? Since Croatian is a highly inflectional language, leaving terms in English (although they will be legible to the target audience) means having awkward constructions instead of flowing text.

A sentence such as “One Dorothy symbol activates 3 Scarecrow symbols” is a good example. If we left all these terms in English, the translation would read: “Jedan simbol Dorothy aktivira 3 simbola Scarecrow-a”. A common gaming website user would be confused although he/she would understand every word. So, a better solution would be to translate it as “Jedan simbol Dorothy aktivira 3 simbola Strašila”. In situations such as this, the linguist needs to have freedom to choose the most reasonable solution.

The ideal situation in Croatian gaming websites, be it casino, poker, or gambling, is to have it all translated, but also properly localized without confusing instructions, such as non-translatable names. Once all is translated for a young user, one simple step of functional testing would make all gaming websites translated in Croatian attractive to their target audience.


Status and potential of the
Croatian online gaming market

According to some expert research, nearly 400,000 Croats bet every day. Betting is extremely popular in Croatia; the number of betting houses per capita is four times larger than in Great Britain, according to Global Betting & Gaming Consultants. When it comes to online betting, Croats are skeptical, mainly because of poor translations on gaming websites offered in Croatian.

Online gaming is expected to grow significantly after Croatia joined the EU and underwent certain changes to law and broadband services

It is often the case with foreign betting websites that their content is only partially translated in Croatian. When a user wants to bet on a game of sports that is not popular in Croatian, for example snooker, it is not uncommon that they will have to do so in English on a foreign betting website.

A typical Croatian user will not choose to spend their money on on website, but rather turn to Croatian betting sites or simply visit the betting house around the corner. It is therefore very important for global betting companies trying to penetrate this growing Croatian market to plan their internet pages in Croatian wisely and to make sure these pages are fully functional.

Due to the social aspect of betting in Croatia, internet gaming is still on the rise. Its growth is continual, although it is expected to grow significantly after Croatia joined the EU and underwent certain changes to law and broadband services. Even though the global recession hit Croatia and there have been significant total spending reductions, there have been no significant declines in the gambling revenues in Croatia in the last couple of years.

2019 US Betting Guide

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