Italy’s Sports Betting Handle Up in 2019, Online Results Strong

Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli the Italian gaming watchdog, has released results for 2019, marking increase across the board for both the retail and online segment.

Italy Releases Sports Betting and Gaming Stats for 2019

Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli (ADM), the Italian national gaming regulator, has posted results for 2019, citing online casinos’ sports betting as the fastest-growing segment, ahead of retail operations.

According to the regulator, sports betting operators managed to pull the impressive €1.59 billion ($1.77 billion) last year, marking a 7.4-percent increase year-over-year (YOY).

The figure covered both online and offline sports betting, with retail numbers going up 3.2% for a total of €867.5 million ($964.66 million) and online handle soaring up by 13.2% to €725.2 million (806,42 million). Italy’s December sports handle soared by the whopping 123-percent increase for the amount total of €216 million ($240,19 million).

International Brands Dominate Italian Gaming and Betting Market

Online betting revenue reached €91 million ($101.9 million) with all retail betting reaching €125 million ($139 million), up 153%. The country’s top sportsbooks, including Bet365, hit some impressive results. Bet365, for example, posted handle up 21% for the total amount of €85.1 million ($94.63 million).

Specifically, The Stars Group’s PokerStars puled ahead of the local Sisal and Lottomatica in terms of total casino revenue. While sports betting and gaming have been fortified, online poker continues to suffer with its share dropping significantly throughout 2019, although PokerStars remained as the top venue preferred by Italian players.

EURO 2020 to Work Up the Revenue

Looking ahead, EURO 2020, a soccer tournament focused on Europe, is most likely to drive demands for sports betting products. However, Italy will also have to face a year where a blanket ban on all gambling sponsorship and advertising has come into force.

Meanwhile, the industry as a whole has taken more blows. On December, the government backed a suggestion to tax video lottery terminals (VLTs) and slots. Slots are now subject to 23.85% tax and VLTs will have to pay an 8.5% tax.

Not only that, but customers who win more than €200 (220) will also face a 20% tax on any VTL winnings and pay the same amount for any winnings over €500 ($560).

The new restrictive measures are spearheaded by the Five Star movement, a far-left populist party, which has made banning gambling and restricting its presence in public spaces part of its political campaign.

Italy is also planning on reducing the size of the country’s gambling market. The government intends to restrict the number of products to 250,000 slot machines, 58,000 VLTs, and 35,000 bars by 2023.

Starting in 2023, a limited number will be granted to a limited number of operators for a period of nine years.

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