The Italian Casino Market Emerges

By Debra SaundersGoogle


Despite its humble beginnings in poker tournaments just a few years ago, the Italian online casino market is quickly growing into a multi-billion Euro major European player.  In July, Italian online casinos started operating online games.  As of November, their will be online poker cash games in play.  This past month, though just the beginning, has been enough to make the authorities recalculate their estimations regarding online gambling revenue.


The Italian government body that oversees online gambling, the AAMS (Amministrazione autonoma dei monopoli di Stato), had adopted the European standard of 20% gross profit taxation.  If this proves to be ineffective, some say they may switch to a turnover tax system.


Italians have welcomed online gambling with open arms and have joined the online casinos in impressive number.  2011 estimates put turnover at over ten billion Euros, and the estimates for 2012 are expected to exceed twice that amount.  Two factors expected to accelerate next year’s growth are the introduction of online slots and foreign operators. 


The quick growth of the Italian market is due, in part, to the big advertising campaigns that were introduced together with casino openings.  The casino operators were smart enough to make sure that they acquired sweeping advertising rights before they opened their casinos to ensure that as many Italians as possible became immediately aware of the casino openings. 


Playtech, one of the largest gambling software providers in the world, has been the first to take advantage of the emerging Italian market; they were the first to pass the AAMS 'Collaudo' test for standards.  A number of Playtech licensees are already fully operational in Italy.

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