Changes on the Italian Online Gambling Market

17 August 2011 – By Cristian Dragomir

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Italy had a somewhat complicated online gambling industry until this year. It had been regulated some years ago, but in a very restraint manner. The market was set mainly around online poker tournaments. But in July this year, all online casino games have been declared legal and were made available to Italian online casino players. Now, one month later, it is time to see if the change has been positive and what are the conclusions from this change.

It seems that the Italian online casino player have spotted the change and started playing in hihg numbers. The main issue for the regulatory organizations has been the taxation of the industry. For now, they opted for a 20% tax on gross profits, but they also have the option of turnover tax, which is also suggested by the European regulatory authorities. The Italian gambling market has also received other important parameters, like the 90% average rate of return in casinos and others.

It seems that players were awaiting this change for quite a while. There have been as much as ten times more players at online casinos per week, compared to the previous period. It is expected that the Italian market will have a turnover of at least 10 billion Euros this year and the amount will double next year. To this increase will also contribute the launch of online casino slot games next year and the new online casino operators that are expected to enter the Italian online gambling market. One factor has also contributed to the high volumes of turnover and this is the TV and online advertising. Online casino operators have spent a lot trying to get a big share of the market, before others arrive.

One of the big winners seems to be Playtech. The online casino software developer was the first provider to complete all the tests necessary to enter the market and offers its services to some of the biggest online casinos in Italy, including Sisal, SNAI, Buongiorno and WHO. These online casinos are offering Playtech games and are supported fully by the Playtech management. The company will also be able to offer online poker tournaments starting from November this year.

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