Italy’s iGaming Market Remains Strong, Despite Slight Dip in January

Online gambling in Italy continues to be highly popular with consumers. The country has repeatedly seen high levels of revenue from the segment and, despite a little drop, January was no exception.

Piazza Venezia in Rome
Piazza Venezia in Rome
The Victor Emmanuel II monument in Piazza Venezia in Rome sits in the foreground. Italy’s iGaming market continues to mark positive growth after two solid years. (Image: Shutterstock)

Italy has had a lot of success with its iGaming market. It has seen several months of record-breaking activity over the past year. This performance is in spite of reports that black-market gaming in the country is on the rise.

Still, the regulated market is doing well, according to data from corporate advisory firm Ficom Leisure. January’s iGaming figures show that the segment achieved €324.9 million (US$358.8 million) that month, the highest it has been in the past eight months.

iGaming in Italy Remains Strong

Online casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) in January gave Italy’s iGaming market most of its success. The revenue from the segment closed at €171 million (US$188.8 million) for the month, representing a year-on-year increase of 5%.

It also beat last December’s €165.5 million (US$182.76 million), which was a record until that point. In addition, the figure is twice what Italy recorded in January 2020. This is a strong signal that iGaming has found its place in the Italian gaming industry.

Although online casinos gave Italy a lot of revenue in the first month of the year, the total for the entire iGaming market slipped. The figure represents a 3.3% loss from the total recorded in January 2021.

PokerStars continues to lead the space, controlling almost 10% of the market. Playtech-owned Snai is close behind at 8.79%, followed by Sisal, with 7.93%. Flutter Entertainment just agreed to buy Sisal, so it will be interesting to see if it can help the company increase its market share.

Poker Not as Interesting Anymore

Poker continues to find a lot of interest in Italy. January’s online poker revenue was €11.4 million (US$12.6 million) through tournaments and €7.5 million (US$8.28 million) through cash games. This was an increase from December 2021’s take. However, it is way off of the amount a year ago.

At that time, COVID-19 was still wreaking havoc on economies and social activities and forced everyone indoors. Now, with more freedom to be outdoors, online poker has lost some of its shine.

For January of this year, PokerStars ruled the online poker scene. It controlled just over 50% of the online tournaments and 42.74% of all cash games.

Online bingo revenue also increased. It was worth €6.1 million (US$6.7 million) in January and could soon be worth a lot more. Efforts to reduce the number of land-based bingo halls might serve as a catalyst to increase the growth of the online segment.

Sports Betting Sees Mixed Results

Sports betting in Italy remains an attractive alternative. January’s GGR for the segment – both retail and online – was €211 million (US$233 million). This was a step up from December’s results, but 46.9% less than January of last year.

Of that figure, online sports betting was the big winner. Its GGR was €128.8 million (US$142.3 million) in January. Although it is a respectable amount, it is still significantly lower than the €143.6 million (US$158.6 million) from a year ago.

Snai was the big winner in sports betting. It controlled 13.7% of the online market, while Sisal was second at 13.3%. Other operators, including Bet365, PlanetWin365, and Eurobet each garnered about 10% of the market.

More iGaming Growth Coming

Overall, Europe is going to see more iGaming growth this year and beyond. H2 Gambling Capital, along with the European Gaming and Betting Association, reported last month that 2022 iGaming GGR could see year-on-year growth of 19%. Within three years, it will be 26% greater than it was in 2019.

Italy is among one of several countries where there is extensive opportunity for iGaming growth. The segment, as the numbers show, doesn’t have significant penetration in the larger gaming market. However, because of the continued increases, it’s obvious the segment is going in the right direction.

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