PokerStars Now Dominates 70% Of Italy's Poker MarketOctober 7, 2014 6:14 pm
Online poker in Italy generated revenues of €34.7 million in August, an improvement of 13% on the €30.7 million the site collected in July, with the poker room now accounting for 70% of the country’s total iPoker market.
Over the years, superior software and marketing strategy has been at the core of the site’s success, and currently PokerStars.com is showing 17,500 cash game players over a seven-day period, with nearest rival 888poker light-years behind with just 2,300 players. Likewise, PokerStars continues to dominate the individual ring-fenced markets it enters and PokerStars.it is no exception with 1,350 players reported on the site by PokerScout, compared to iPoker.it (400) and International.it (260).
Commenting on the site’s August results, which saw it grow its market share from the 61% reported in July, Italian poker journalist Claudio Poggi, commented:
“[PokerStars] is perceived as the industry leader, and that’s why everyone goes to play there. PokerStars also has a media exposure that other competitors do not have. Some of the other rooms have tried to fill the gap, but I think the difference between them and PokerStars was simply too big.”
While PokerStars celebrates its continuing success, there is little cheer overall for Italy’s online poker market, which has been steadily declining over the past few years and in August generated just €50 million in revenues, a 11.7% drop compared to August 2013. In fact, Italy’s declining market was also given as the reason Amaya Gaming’s other brand, Full Tilt Poker, decided not to launch its FullTiltPoker.it this year, as originally expected.
Without a doubt, a lack of liquidity caused by having a ring-fenced player pool has been a major contributor to the country’s online poker decline, although Italy’s Finance Ministry, Pier Carlo Padoan, also holds unlicensed operators responsible for costing the country up to €122 million every year in potential tax revenues. As a result, the Finance Ministry has now set out its plans to combat the problem in a new 140-page report entitled “Report on Tax Evasion,” and as an extract of the document, explains:
“The law enforcement operations against various illegal activities related to gambling.. aim not only to fight against tax evasion, but also to protect the market from the attempts of infiltration of organized crime, money laundering activities and at the same time protect consumers from unsafe and dangerous game offerings.”