Italy’s online gambling operators can be satisfied with 2016 results, since the market recorded a 25% rise in revenue.
This result makes Italy the second largest online gambling market in Europe. The United Kingdom is still in the first place, while France and Spain are ranked third and fourth respectively.
According to data recently revealed by Milan Polytechnic University, Italy snatched €1,026 billion in revenue last year, which is a significant improvement when compared to 2015.
Online revenue of €439 million is one third larger than in 2015. Sports betting earned 31% more money for a total of €350 million, while poker revenue dropped by 10% to €133 million.
The statistics say the average Italian online gambler is a male, 25-34 years old, with 2.14 online accounts, spending €111 on average (7% more than in 2015). Although males comprise the majority of online players, the number of female players rose to 17%.
It seems the online gambling is becoming more and more popular. The number of Italians making at least one online bet is now 1.79 million – a neat 15% increase.
More and more people prefer to gamble on the go and this tendency reflected on the yearly results. Mobile gambling scored an increase of nearly 4%, from 19.2% to 23%, while 56% of all sports betting is done via mobile devices.
The government plans to increase the number of online licenses, and is preparing the new legislation to do so. The current number of online licenses is 84, which will be more than doubled with the arrival of 120 new ones.
Rumors also suggest the government is planning to increase taxes on winnings above €500, from 6% to 10%, while the tax on lotto winnings will also rise from 6% to 8%.
Poker dominated the Italian market until 2012, and even accounted half of all online revenue. But, the decline in cash wagers resulted in less tournament spending. Cash games recorded a drop of 7% when it comes to the number of active players.
The government wants to respark the interest in poker, and the best solution would be to share online poker liquidity with other European markets, such as France, Spain and Portugal. But, there’s little action on this matter, and many wonder whether anyone in Italy will be playing poker by the time these plans are put into action.