PokerStars Making Gains In Italy's iGaming Market

PokerStars holds a commanding 70% of Italy’s ring-fenced online poker market, and currently has an average of 1,300 cash game players on the site over a 7-day period according to PokerScout. That figure is higher than that of other main European countries with isolated player pools, including PokerStars.es and PokerStars.fr, both with an average of 900 players each.
PokerStars has also been make inroads into online gambling after introducing casino games last May, including blackjack, roulette, and slots, and has now also captured a 2.58% share of the country’s online gambling market, as well. PokerStars.it is likely to see its percentage of revenues grow in the near future, too, as plans are afoot to add sports betting to the site’s gambling mix.
Once devoted solely to offering online poker, having a more complete gambling offering is much more important for PokerStars these days as the popularity of online casino game has continued to grow steadily over the past few years, just as the growth in poker has trended in the opposite direction.
In September 2015, for instance, Italy’s iPoker tournament market experienced a 17% fall in net revenues to €5.3 million, compared to the €6.4 million generated in the same month in 2014. Similarly, the country’s poker cash game market also reported a dramatic 20% drop in net revenues to €6.5 million from the €8.2 million reported for September 2014. On the other hand, online casino games noted a 37.3% improvement during September, while online sports also posted an impressive 36.7% increase during the same month.
Nevertheless, PokerStars is relatively new to the online casino market, and still has a long way to go before it can compete with the biggest iGambling firms in the Italian market, which includes Lottomatica with a 14.66% share of the market in 2015, followed by Sisal with 9.69%, and William Hill with 8.28%.


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