Italy‘s online gambling market was basically flat in 2014, despite the addition of new sports betting options.
The fifth annual study of Italy’s regulated online gambling market by the Milan Polytechnic says total revenue in 2014 came to €728m, up just 0.4% from the year before. The government’s share of this bounty rose 1% to €167m. Mobile wagering accounted for 14% of total revenue, twice the figure from 2013.
Sports betting rose 11% to €214m thanks to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the introduction of exchange betting and the ongoing expansion of other sports wagering options. The relaxation of restrictions on in-play wagers in the last quarter of 2014 is credited with boosting the year’s sports betting revenue by nearly €23m.
Online slots rose 27% to €147m while casino table games fell 10% to €110m. Online poker revenue fell 20% to €178m, the third consecutive year of declines, as cash games fell 21% to €108m and tournament revenue was down 18% to just under €70m. Other verticals ranked as follows: bingo (€27.1m), virtual betting (€10m), horseracing (€9.9m), skill games (€9.3m) and online lotteries (€5.5m)
The market welcomed eight new operators in 2014, with Bet365’s debut deemed the most successful. Bet365 already ranks among the country’s top 10 operators, who collectively accounted for 75% of 2014’s total revenue.
The average Italian online gambler is (surprise) a male between 25 and 44 years of age. The number of active players per month fell 4.4% to 640k. The number of active players who engaged in only one form of online gambling was 57%, down from 68% in 2013.
Thanks to a minority of big spenders, average expenditure per online player rose 4.1% to €94. But nearly two-thirds of online gamblers spent less than €50, while 52% maxed out at €25.