Italy’s Gambling Market Grows Year-over-Year in April

Relax Gaming Marks Debut on Italian Market With PokerStars Deal

The Italian iGaming market has posted its first upward trend in a long, long time this April. This is the first time the gambling segment in the country inched up driven by stronger-than-expected interactive wagering since November 2021. April’s results were higher than April 2021’s, but the numbers were still under the March 2022 benchmark.

Gambling in Italy Remains Fairly Stagnant

Italy operates in some of the toughest marketing conditions and advertisement is all but prohibited, making consumers’ journey to gambling brands a bit more complicated. This has naturally made it harder for people to find credible gambling websites, but arguably safer from a consumer standpoint.

The interactive gaming market in Italy posted a total of €292.2 million ($307.27 million), a contraction from March’s €302.4 million ($318 million). However, the results were still better than the €288.1 million ($302.96 million) posted last April. Interactive gaming mostly suffered because of contracting sports betting, with online wagers dropping by 6.7%.

Revenue from the segment sat at €118.9 million ($125.03 million). Meanwhile, the four biggest casinos in the market seemed to lose steam to other competitors in the market. All four behemoths of the gaming space, including Sisal, Snai, Lottomatica, and PokerStars posted a downturn, ranging from 7.3% for Lottomatica to 8.8% for PokerStars.

However, in terms of sports betting momentum, Sisal and Snai managed to grab a bigger share of the market. Meanwhile, PokerStars continued to dominate the poker segment and the market that goes along with it. Numbers for the poker remained fairly steadfast. PokerStars currently holds 46% of the market for cash games.

Slow Road to Recovery Given Challenges

Italy has put a huge emphasis on consumer safety which means no partnerships between sports betting or gambling entities and role models or sports teams. Public advertisement of gambling has been prohibited in Italy since January 1, 2019, at the behest of the then-populist government of the Five Star Movement.

The complete obliteration of gambling advertisements has posed some challenges. One is that legitimate stakeholders are struggling to reach customers, but the more pressing issue according to some, is that the black market currently accounts for 23% of all money wagered in Italy.

Author: Ian Douglas