Italy’s online gambling market shakes off World Cup hangover


italy-world-cup-sports-betting-hangoverItaly’s regulated sports betting market suffered only a slight dip in August following two months of World Cup-boosted wagering.

Figures published by Italian gaming affiliate Agimeg show August’s combined retail and online sports betting revenue hitting €111.4m, a 34.4% improvement over the same month last year and down only slightly from the €114.3m recorded in July.

Online wagering accounted for just under €50m in July, up 27.8% year-on-year, with Bet365 claiming a 17.1% share, followed by runner-up SKS365 (14.9%) and Playtech’s new Italian toy Snaitech (10.5%). For the year-to-date, online betting revenue is up 41.5% to €411.4m.

The retail betting throne was claimed by the new Gamenet/Goldbet combo, which claimed a 18.7% share. Snaitech wasn’t far back with 16.5% and GVC Holdings’ Eurobet brand ranked third with 14.7%.

Virtual betting generated revenue of €20.5m in August, €19m of which came via retail outlets. For the year-to-date, virtual betting revenue totals €170m, of which €157.5m was retail-derived. Gamenet/Goldbet also led this vertical with an even more dominant 27.5% share.

August’s online casino revenue shot up 26% year-on-year to €56.5m, with The Stars Group’s PokerStars’ brand claiming top honors with a 9.7% share. Lottomatica ranked second with 8.9% and Sisal claimed third with €8.4%. For the year-to-date, online casino revenue is up over €100m year-on-year to €458.8m.

Online poker played contrarian in August, as cash games revenue fell 6.9% to €4.8m while tournament fees were down 5.9% to €5.6m. PokerStars claimed a 42.1% share of cash games revenue and a 64.8% slice of the tournament take. For the year-to-date, cash games revenue has fallen nearly €2m to €44.1m, while tournaments are essentially flat at around €55m.

All eyes will be on Italy’s market in the coming months to gauge the impact the country’s new ban on gambling advertising and sponsorships. While the ban doesn’t formally kick in until January 1, 2019 – and some existing sponsorships will be grandfathered until June 30 – Google has already begun adjusting its algorithm to permit “only state lotteries with deferred drawing” to be seen advertising to Italian residents.