Italian gamblers who logged onto 32Red.it this weekend discovered a message informing them that the site would be shutting down as of November 30. The message claimed the closure was “a difficult choice to make” without going into detail regarding the factors that led to this decision.
32Red’s Italian customers have been “strongly” recommended to withdraw the funds from the site by November 29 “as afterwards you will no longer be able to access the casino.” The message encouraged customers to transfer their affections to the Italian-licensed site of Kindred’s flagship Unibet brand, where they will reportedly receive “the warm welcome they deserve.”
32Red’s presence in Italy’s regulated market dates back to 2012, five years before the brand’s operations were acquired by Kindred. Presumably, Kindred will shed more light on its decision to streamline its Italian presence when the company issues its Q3 earnings report later this week.
There’s no question that Italy’s online market has become far less hospitable following last year’s prohibition on nearly all forms of gambling advertising and sponsorship activity. Italy has also imposed a new ‘temporary’ sports betting turnover tax to help fund pandemic mitigation efforts
Italy’s land-based gambling market was recently forced back into a second pandemic lockdown, and online operators will be hoping that customers make a greater transition to online gambling than they did during the original lockdown this spring.
This time around, the closure applies not only to casinos, betting shops, bingo and slots halls, but betting points and electronic gaming machines in bars and tobacconists will also be off-limits. Effectively, land-based gambling is just not happening for the next three weeks.
Kindred isn’t the only operator looking to streamline its brand strategies following a spate of acquisitions. Last month, Nordic online gambling operator Betsson pulled eight brands from the UK market in order to focus on a single brand (Rizk) strategy in the UK.