Europe’s online gambling industry has been a mixed bag at best, thanks to some insanely high taxes (France), shaky legislation (Spain) and fickle consumer interest (UK). Yet while growth has slowed or stalled in much of the EU, the Pisanos down in the boot are laughing it up as Italian gaming regulator AAMS is announcing a 28 percent growth in Italy’s online gambling market for 2010.
The bulk of the growth coincides with the surge of popularity experienced in tournament poker last year, thanks in no small part to the stellar fourth place finish of Italy’s own Filippo Candio at the main event of this year’s World Series of Poker. Online card rooms exploded this year, providing the majority of the “skill game” income for the year, an impressive €3.15 billion.
Fixed odds sports betting also had a strong year, raking in €1.35 billion, as did Bingo, which grew three (3) percent to €146.14 million by the end of the year.
Together, these three gaming segments were responsible for 96 percent of the year’s gaming take, according to EGR Magazine. These numbers are anticipated to grow substantially in 2011 when the country introduces online cash games in February and casinos in June.