Italian Gaming Is Booming Thanks To Sports Betting Surge

Posted on September 15, 2017

[toc]Sports betting revenue in Italy almost doubled in August, according to new figures released by an Italian gaming news agency.

Agimeg published reports showing that August’s overall sports revenue came in at just under €83 million, which is an 89 per cent increase from the same month in 2016. Online betting is largely responsible, increasing dramatically by 108.6 per cent to €39 million.

Meanwhile, retail betting operators recorded €43.8 million in August. This is an improvement of 74.7 per cent. For 2017 overall, online bets are up 34 per cent, while retail betting has increased by 7.65 per cent.

Bet365 on top of Italian betting market

The leading gambling sites in Italy are:

  • Bet365
  • Planetwin365
  • Lottomatica
  • Sisal
  • Bwin

The most popular site is Bet365, holding 18 per cent of the market. Planetwin365, owned by SKS365, is close behind with 16 per cent. However, Planetwin365 just announced a new two-year sponsorship deal with Serie A football club Napoli. With that news, the gap could potentially close thanks to greater brand exposure.

Lottomatica, an online casino operator, reported €44.8 million in revenue in August – up 30.6 per cent on August 2016. Its 9.08 per cent casino market share give Lottomatica the top spot over competitors, including The Stars Group’s and Sisal. recorded an 8.93 per cent market share, while Sisal trails them both with 8.81 per cent. Bwin is fourth with 6.36 per cent, while William Hill fell from fifth to eighth with 5.39 per cent. the online poker market leader

While‘s casino market share falls short of the top spot, it comes as no surprise that it is the leader in Italy’s online poker market.

Online poker tournament entry fees in Italy were up almost 20 per cent in August compared with the same month last year, with €5.9 million taken. That amount brings the total tournament takings for 2017 up to €55 million, an increase of 17.8 per cent. holds a massive 70.8 per cent share of the tournament market. Cash games, however, have not proved as popular.

Overall cash game poker revenue fell 3.8 per cent to €5.1 million, bringing the year-to-date figure to €46 million (down 5.1 per cent year-for-year).

Again, it’s that leads the cash game market with 45.9 per cent of the market. Lottomatica placed in second, but sits far behind with just 7.1 per cent.

Italy is the second-biggest European gambling market

Italy’s regulated online gambling market is the second-largest in Europe, behind only the United Kingdom. France has the third-largest, followed by Spain in fourth.

Gianfranco Allocca, Lottomatica’s digital business manager, told GiocoNews that its increase in revenue is due to “a great return of important gamers on gaming platform.”

The average online gambler in Italy is a male in the age bracket of 25 to 34 years, according to That’s not to say that there are plenty of females gambling online though; that figure rose by 17 per cent in 2016.

Gambling on mobile devices in Italy accounted for 19.2 per cent in 2015. It then increased to 23 per cent in 2016. The percentage for 2017 should increase even further.

In anticipation of this, Lottomatica is set to release new poker software in October. The release should help the company capitalise on its market-share momentum. New ‘sit & go’ and ‘slots & go’ options will be available too.

Don’t be surprised to see all the major players in Italy upping their offerings in the coming months. The market as a whole is on the verge of becoming far more competitive. Additionally, the government is set to issue new online licenses at some point in September.

Allocca, in a translated quote, added:

“The activity of the regulator – who has done excellent work over the years – may well reappear as a reference in Europe, with clear and precise rules for both players and players. Even though I believe the process is not yet complete on this front, there is still a lot to be done and in the coming months I will have further growth for the benefit of the industry and consumers. “

Photo by Oleh Dubyna /

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Jack Stanton

Jack Stanton is a freelance journalist and marketing copywriter, specialising in the world of poker and online gaming. Jack's work has appeared on VICE, The Guardian, The Drum, PokerStars Blog, PocketFives, BLUFF Europe and more. As a live poker reporter, Jack has covered events in locations as far afield as the Bahamas, Chile, South Korea, Brazil, and all across Europe.

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