BUSINESS

Italy’s sports betting market roars back to life in April

TAGs: Italy, PokerStars

italy-sports-betting-aprilItaly’s sports betting market roared back to life in April after enduring a disappointing setback in March.

Figures compiled by Italy’s Agenzia della Dogane e dei Monopoli (ADM) regulatory body show the country’s licensed sports betting operators generated revenue of €173.6m in April, up 18.5% from the same month last year and a welcome return to form following the 4.2% year-on-year decline the market reported in March.

Land-based wagering improved 11.6% to €98.1m while online betting revenue surged 28.8% to €75.5m. Local lads Goldbet claimed the biggest piece (15.1%) of the overall betting pie, with Snaitech (14.5%) and GVC Holdings’ Eurobet brand (13.5%) not far off the mark. Bet365 was the highest-ranking online-only operator, placing seventh overall with a 6.3% share.

Italy’s online casino licensees reported revenue of €67.4m in April, 16.1% higher than the same month last year. The Stars Group’s flagship PokerStars brand claimed the online casino crown with a 11.1% share, with Sisal (8%) and Lottomatica (7.6%) well back of the leader.

PokerStars also continued its dominance over Italy’s online poker market, which saw tournament revenue rise a modest 1.2% to €6.7m in April, while cash games continued to bemoan their inability to share liquidity with other European Union markets, falling 2.9% to €5.2m. PokerStars held a 61.4% share of the tournament take and a 42.3% share of cash games.

For the year-to-date, sports betting revenue is up 6% to €564.5m, with retail essentially flat at just under €310m and online up nearly 15% to €254.6m over the past four months. Online casino revenue rose 17.2% to €273.4m, while tournament poker fell 2.3% to €30.1m and cash games tumbled 11.5% to €21.5m.

Meanwhile, Italy’s new restrictions on gambling advertising are emboldening critics to come out of the woodwork. Last week, the Associazione Europea Consumatori Independenti (AECI) consumer group asked the country’s telecom watchdog AGCOM to probe whether a PokerStars promo “encourages gambling and is associated with strong emotions, such as a sense of revenge, the exaltation of your self-esteem and ability.” Speaking of overestimating one’s ability, AECI’s presser misspelled the name of PokerStars’ Italian-licensed domain…

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