Italy's Gambling Market Rises 11.4% to €19.17BN in 2016

Italy’s gambling industry generated revenues of €19.17 billion in 2016, representing a solid 11.4% improvement over the previous year’s figures. From that tally, the country’s slot machines accounted for €10.5 million of all gambling revenues, up by 10% compared to 2015, with the ubiquitous product proving a lucrative money spinner for the Italian government.
Similar to the situation in Australia, though, concerns exist that a proliferation in the number of slot machines can only lead to more instances of gambling addiction in a country where 1.3 million Italians are already believed to be problem gamblers. As was noted during a Joint Conference between the state and the country’s various regions and local authorities:
“While on the one hand [slots] provide important tax revenues, on the other hand they entail important social consequences which cannot be ignored as they have been in past years.”
Another target that appears to be on the Italian government’s radar is Bitcoins, with the virtual currency increasingly being used by new gambling websites being launched in the country. The anonymity afforded by the currency, however, means that the government is unable to monitor and therefore tax or license such sites.
Interestingly, an H2 Gambling Capital study released recently revealed that Italy’s $19 billion in revenues made it the world’s 4th biggest gambling market in 2016, behind the USA ($116.9bn), China ($62.4bn), and Japan ($24.1bn).
In the meantime, Italy has released its latest results for February 2017, with online sports betting and casinos helping to drive growth, but online poker continuing its downward trajectory. Last month, online and land-based sports betting reached €828 million, higher by 30% versus the same month last year. Online casinos, too, saw their revenues increase by 25% to €41.1 million year-o-year. Online poker, on the other hand, bucked the positive trend, with its tournament fees down 16.5%, and its cash games down by 11% compared to the previous month.

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