Italian iPoker Decline Reflects Wider Market

Italian iPoker Decline Reflects Wider MarketIn 2010, Italy introduced a new law affording foreign gambling companies the right to apply to its national regulatory body (AAMS) for iGaming licenses, and launch their products inside the country. For the past two years, though, no statistical reports have been forthcoming from AAMS, but at the end of August Italian media received online gambling information covering the H1 2015 period, and as expected Italy’s market reflected the wider trend observed in the majority of markets across the world. In other words, the internet gambling industry continues to expand, while iPoker revenues continue to shrink.
According to the statistics, Italy’s gross iGaming revenues are currently at €390 million ($439m) for 2015 so far, which is higher by 9% compared to the same period of time last year. Helping to drive the revenues forward is casino games, up 24%, and sports betting, up 18%.
On the other hand, online poker continues to see its market contract, and while tournament revenues appear stable, cash game revenues have fallen by 23% to €44.7 million ($50.3m) in H1, compared to the first half of 2014. A major factor helping to explain the declining popularity of poker in Italy is the country’s segregated player pool, which has severely limited liquidity and contributed to its waning popularity.
Interestingly, Europe accounts for around 40% of global internet gaming revenues, and like Italy, the continent has seen its iPoker market contract by 20% since the US DoJ cut off its players from the rest of the world. Conversely, online casino gambling is growing at a rate of almost 15% per annum, and Europe’s overall iGaming market is currently estimated to be worth $14.7 billion. By comparison, the USA has just three regulated states where iGaming is permitted, but with other states such as Pennsylvania, New York and California considering regulation, Morgan Stanley believes the country’s internet gambling market could be worth around $2.7 billion by 2020.

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