Gambling in Italy
The Italian Gambling industry is legal. Each year this area of entertainment brings up to 8 million EUR to the state budget. Italian laws allow both land-based and online casinos to operate. Gambling industry in Italy has been undergoing a dynamic development. The types of gambling in most demand today are sports betting, poker, lotteries and slot machines and online games are much sought after.
Gambling Games in Italy
Just like in other European regions, products of worldly renowned developers are popular in Italy as well: Novomatic, Playtech, NetEnt, Betsoft, IGT, Microgaming and others. According to the ratings of Italian online casinos, the Book of Ra slot is an absolute favourite among the players in this country. This Egypt-themed slot by Austrian developer Novomatic is popular in both its classical and updated versions: Deluxe and Deluxe 6. These are the models that are listed among the most popular slots in Italy: Treasures of Troy (IGT), Dolphin’s Pearl (Novomatic), Starburst (NetEnt), Sizzling Hot Deluxe (Novomatic), Gladiator (Playtech) and Avalon (Microgaming) Italy has no popular developers of slot machines, and it is foreign software products that are primarily in most demand.
There was a time when the country became a pioneer in the area of organising legal gambling. It was here, or specifically in Venice, where the very first casino in history was opened in 1638, which was called Ridotto Gambling House. Today the gambling industry in Italy is regulated by a law that was passed in 2010. This law states that the following varieties of gambling entertainment are allowed on the country's soil: sports betting and other types of betting, card games, slots and other games run by a random number generator, lotteries and bingo and table games. Up until 2006 Italy had a ban on the types of gambling where the winnings would be random instead of depending on the skills of the players. Nevertheless, under the influence of the European Commission that regulates the Italian gambling industry, the government changed its priorities and the list of permitted games was expanded. Right now the valid list is the one that was compiled based on the 2011 amendments. In Italy all categories of people have access to gambling entertainment, except for those who have not reached the age of 18. Gambling establishments cannot be located near schools, churches or hospitals. Aside from casinos, slot machines in Italy can be placed in other public facilities provided that the appropriate permit has been obtained.
The Ministry of Interior and the Autonomous Administration of State Monopolies are the government bodies that oversee the activities of gambling operators. Games based on bookmaking and sports betting are taxed at 4.5% of the overall revenue, and casinos pay 20% of the gross revenue. Bingos and lotteries have the fixed tax rate of 11%. During poker tournaments the operator must pay 3% of the total amount of all bets that were placed by the players.
Online gambling in Italy
Italy was the first country in the European Union that officially allowed online casinos at the legislative level. The road towards legalising online gambling started back in 2006. It was spurred by an investigation run by the European Commission. The restrictions that were in force at that time were in contradiction to a number of EU directives. As a result, the law was passed in 2010 that lifted the ban on online gambling. According to Italian laws, online gambling operators must provide proper equipment to ensure the safety of the players and to create the conditions that would prevent minors from participating in games. Websites that do not comply with these requirements and do not have an Italian license will be blocked by the providers of telecommunications services.
Autonomous Administration of State Monopolies (AAMS) is the issuing authority that grants the permission to conduct gambling activities in Italy. To obtain the appropriate document, the company must have a minimum turnover of 1,500,000 EUR. The company must have its registered representatives in Italy for at least two years prior to submitting an application. A company that plans to run an online casino must provide evidence that the equipment and software that are used is stable and safe. A mandatory one-time fee is 350,000 EUR. The operators must also pay a regular concession fee in the amount of 50,000 EUR.
These are the types of gambling entertainment that are licensed in Italy: Skill games, Poker (including tournament games), Casino games, Bingo, Bookmaking and Betting on horse races. The license is issued for 9 years and becomes valid about 4 to 6 months after it was filed.
Development of the Gambling Market in Italy
The Gambling industry in Italy has been showing a stable increase. In 2015 profits of online casinos increased 31.5%, and in 2016 poker alone showed the growth of 7.7% for individual games and 18.6% for tournament games. At the present moment, the most intense gain in profits comes from the sports betting segment. For example, in March 2017 Italian sportsbook businesses earned 44.5% more than what they earned in the same time period in 2016. The growth of revenues of online casinos, in turn, was 30.3%. In the near future it makes sense to predict a further increase in the popularity of sports betting among the Italian players. The Gambling Market in Italy piques the interest among the international operators. Giants such as 365bet, 888 and others are already operating in the country. Many world renowned operators are probably already waiting until the 9-year licenses of the already operating companies expire. The re-licensing procedure will allow them to take stock and evaluate the feasibility of entering the Italian market. The development of the gambling industry in Italy can also allow you to predict the emergence of major domestic developers. In many occasions Italy has already shown itself as a country that sets a positive example to other states in terms of gambling regulation. This also concerns the opening of the first official gambling house in history, and the creation of a positive precedent for the legalisation of online casinos in the EU. Italian laws equally apply to both players and operators.