Italian Online Poker Industry In Dire Straits

Italian Online Poker Industry In Dire StraitsItalian online gambling regulator L’Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stato (AAMS) has now released its latest report concerning the state of gambling in the country, and the result has sent shock waves throughout the industry.
Over the past year alone, Italy has seen a massive decline in its online poker market with revenue from its segregated cash games and tournament player pool down a huge 30.7% from its August 2011 peak of €33.8m to €23.4m in August this year.
Breaking the figures down further, since regulation was first introduced in Italy tournament revenues have fallen nearly 75% from a peak in January 2011 of €35.3m to a low of €9.1m in August 2012. In addition, cash games has plummeted by 41% over the last year to just €14.2m.
At the heart of the worrying figures would seem to be the high gaming taxes imposed by the government, which are the highest across the whole of Europe. However, also of chief concern is the low player liquidity caused by allowing only Italian  citizens to play online, which has resulted in narrower game selection and lower tournament prize pools.
Nevertheless, regulatory body AAMS has now become aware of the acute challenges facing their domestic gambling market and discussions are currently afloat to come up with ways to reverse the situation. A similar situation exists in Spain and one suggestion being touted includes the two EU countries combining their player pools in 2013. In fact, a meeting was held this summer involving other countries with similar dilemmas including France and Portugal, with a press announcement released later stating:
“Discussions took place on the conditions necessary for a possible shared liquidity in certain games among some of the countries participating to the meeting.”
Meanwhile, Italy will be hoping to stem the leak in its online gambling market after online slot games are officially launched in December.

Other news:   Multi-state online poker compact bill introduced in Pennsylvania

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