Italy now the Second Largest Online Gambling Market in Europe
Online gambling is becoming a worldwide phenomenon, especially after the government in few countries relaxed restrictions on the activity. The year 2017 is going to be an eventful year, especially for Europe, where the online gambling market is expanding by leaps and bounds. In fact, the European online gambling and betting market represent almost half of the global gambling market.
European countries like the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Slovenia, and Cyprus have passed regulatory provisions last year. Such regulations are likely to influence the gambling industry in these countries in 2017, thus exercising significant influence on taxation, regulation, and promotion of iGaming services.
Italy’s online gambling market
Talking about the European online gambling market, Italy is not behind in the race to top the list. Italy’s online gambling and betting market, currently, is the second-largest in Europe. A 25 percent rise in operator revenue has pushed Italy’s online gambling market to the current rank. According to a report released by Milan Polytechnic University, the online gambling market of Italy earned a revenue of €1.026 billion in 2016, a figure which is one-quarter higher than 2015’s figure.
Milan Polytechnic University believes that such a high operator revenue makes the Italian gambling market second only to the United Kingdom, with France being the third largest and Spain the fourth largest in the whole of Europe.
In 2016, the Italian casinos acquired the bulk of revenue at €439 million after an increase by one-third every year. Sports betting earned a revenue of €350 million, while poker earned €133 million, securing the third rank. However, all other products, including lotteries, bingo, exchange betting, virtual betting, and horse racing accounted for about €97 million of 2016’s total revenue.
An average online gambler in Italy is a male in the age bracket of 25 to 34 years. However, the number of female online gamblers also rose by 17% in 2016. Nearly 2.14 online accounts are held by average gamblers, while average spending per player increased by 7 percent to €111.
Mobile gambling accounted for 19.2 percent in 2015, while it rose to 23 percent in 2016. Mobile-friendly sports betting also increased, with 56 percent of gambling done with mobile devices as compared to 29 percent in casinos.
The Italian government is planning to set 120 new online licenses, a move that would radically increase the number of online players in the Italian market. The government also plans to increase the current tax rate from 6 percent to 10 percent, thus surprising a number of gamblers in the country. Moreover, the government intends to give a boost to the declining Poker players and share online poker liquidity with other regulated European markets.