Italy Says Yes Gambling Online
Italy is one of the very first European countries to regulate and control internet gambling. Initially it did not accept every internet gambling product in the regulated system.
For instance poker was allowed and internet poker cash games was not. To crown it all wagering online remained against the law and this frustrated many players in the country.
Finally Italian players have something to smile about. Authorities have kept their word and will slot in two important verticals in 2011. Internet poker cash games will be introduced later this year.
At this point in time Italy is Europe’s largest Internet gaming market. Research done by TrustPartners indicates that once cash poker and operators are introduced revenue will double by 2012. The figures provided by TrustPartners projected a revenue in the region of €200 million in 2011 and up to €1 billion in 2012 on account of gambling alone. Profits estimated for poker cash games will be in excess of €400 million in 2011.
In 2010 the total net worth of the Italian internet gambling market stood at €4.8 billion, up 28% from the 2009 value of €3.4 billion. 96% was contributed by skill games (including tournament poker), sports betting and bingo.
Lately the largest growth came from internet poker tournaments. However this portion of the market is busy levelling out now. Stefano Acciavatti of TrustPartners said, “Although game accounts and profits for poker increased in 2010 in comparison to 2009, the last four to five months of 2010 indicated signs of stabilization.
Duration of games, tournaments and cash wagered for each game were down compared to the same period in 2009.” According to Acciavatti in 2011 the Italian gaming market will have the full range of internet gambling verticals. In turn this will create opportunities for cross selling in conjunction with new products. He added, “We believe that our profit margins will double in 2011 thanks to online casinos and in 2012 it will further increase.”
In the meantime many software providers have done feasibility studies to gauge the market potential within the Italian online gaming market. Neomobile has applied for the Italian gaming AAMS license for internet and mobile casino markets. It’s being supported in the internet sector by Prima Networks Limited.
Microgaming powers Prima Networks Limited and will offer products to licensed operators. Neomobile is the mobile gambling arm of the Neomobile Group. It will join forces with Spin3, a partner of Microgaming, to provide mobile games to the Italian market.[addtoany]