Italy's iPoker Market Continues To Slide In SeptemberOctober 9, 2015 12:52 pm
Italian gambling regulator AAMS has just released its latest data for September, and once again the results were not good, with online poker tournament revenues shrinking by 17% to €6.4 million, and ring games revenues plummeting by 20% to €6.5 million, compared to the same month in 2014.
Italy’s iPoker ring game market has been contracting in recent years, and prior to September’s results was showing a 24% decline in revenues to €56.6 million ($64.2m) for the first eight months of 2015, compared to the same period of time last year.
Tournament poker revenues, on the other hand, had been higher by 1.3% at €48.2 million ($54.6m) over the same period, making September’s dramatic 17% decline all the more troubling. Initially, PokerStars’ Spin & Go games which were first introduced in August 2014 had helped draw recreational players away from the ring game tables, but it now appears that the honeymoon period is over. Scratching around for further answer, analysts have even suggested that Italy’s first ever World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC) event held at the Casino Campione from September 16 to 30 may have caused some of the decline in traffic, with some higher-volume players opting to test their skills on the live arena instead.
Nevertheless, the WSOPC Campione should not have produced such a pronounced effect, and the waning traffic is more likely due to Italy’s seperate ring-fenced market which makes online tournaments less attractive for players. Unfortunately, the negative trend is set to continue, too, especially if operator’s become subjected to a proposed 25% “Digital Tax” which which may become law on January 1, 2017.
One positive piece of news, however, was supplied by the country’s other iGambling verticals, with online casino revenues up 37.3% in September, and sports-betting up by 36.7%.
Interestingly, Italy’s latest iGaming results are largely in line with those of other European markets, with the continent’s overall iPoker revenues shrinking by 20% each year, while online casinos have been increasing steadily at a rate of around 15%.