Recent changes in the Italian Online Gambling Market

The Italian online gambling market has experienced significant changes during the last few weeks.

Italian authorities attempted to legalize the online gambling a few years ago, but in a limited manner, the main focus lying in online poker tournaments. Then, the online operators licensed by AAMS started to offer online casino games this year in July. Online poker cash games were set to November. There is enough time in one month after the online games had gone live, for the industry to see the effects.

In Europe, the authorities apply a tax on turnover for online gambling. Similarly, the AAMS has agreed the 20% tax on gross profits generated by online games. If this tax doesn’t generate the expected revenues, then AAMS will further apply the turnover tax. Two more important indicators are the average rate of return of 90% and the initial stake for the gaming session limited to €1,000.

Online casinos have been accessed by Italian players in large numbers. The volumes are 3 to ten times higher per week, then in the previous period. The estimated revised turnover for the Italian online market exceeds €10 billions for 2011 and it is expected to go over €20 billions in 2012. The launch of online slot games and the appearance of foreign online operators are two major factors to affect the Italian online market next year.

The large volume of players has been caused also by the advertising TV and online campaigns, undertaken right after online games have gone live in the Italian market. The operators who applied in time for their licenses can rest assured of their share of the Italian market.

Playtech is now one of the biggest players in the Italian online market, being the first software provider to complete the “Collaudo” testing process for online casinos, accepted by the AAMS. Playtech licensees such as Sisal, SNAI, Buongiorno and WHQ are already operating and offering the full range of Playtech games. Since 2008 Playtech is hosting poker tournaments and it will offer poker cash games from November 2011.