2016 was indeed a mixed year for operators serving the Italian online gambling market. The regulated gambling market consists of many verticals such as sports betting, casino gaming, and poker. Italy’s leading gambling industry news agency Agimeg.it released figures that reveal certain interesting facts and trends.
Online Gaming 2016 in the Italian Gambling Market
Based upon the statistics compiled by Agimeg.it, the online sports betting business in the country generated a turnover of €391.8 million in the month of December alone. The industry’s turnover was €410.4 million in October and €385 million in November. Leading sports betting operator bet365 had a biggest share of this vertical. It had a betting turnover of €128 million, which represented almost 33% of the total. Eurobet from Gala Coral came second as always with a turnover of €37 million. Other companies in this market were Sisal, Snai-Cogitech and Lottomatica. They had turnovers of €32.3 million, €29.8 million, and €22.7 million respectively.
Bet365 Dominates Online Gaming 2016 in the Italian Market
Bet365 clearly dominates the market. Its share has been sliding gradually over the last few months perhaps on account of new companies entering the market. The newest entrant into this busy market was Sky Betting & Gaming which earned revenues of €600,000 from sports betting. However, the company has launched a very aggressive marketing campaign to gain visibility in the market. Especially for its newly launched iPhone app.
The turnover of the combined regulated sports betting industry, including online and land based businesses, was €77million. In fact, the industry accepted wagers of around €7.5 billion, a massive 35% growth over its performance in 2015. Sports betting at land based establishments grew by 26% to touch €3.4 billion in total wagers. The online betting industry surged ahead by 46% to cross €4 billion.
Revenues of Online Gaming 2016 in December
The revenues from online casinos in December were €45 million, taking the year’s tally to €439 million. This was a very good increase of 34% over the previous year’s performance. Lottomatica had the best performance in this vertical at 11% followed by Sisal at 8.5% and Amaya’s PokerStars at 7.8%. Eurobet and William Hill brought up the rear with revenues of 6.6% and 6.2% respectively.
PokerStars was the biggest operator in the online poker market in Italy with a lion’s share of tournaments. The company did almost 75% of the revenues in tournaments and 46.4% in cash games. In fact, no other operator was able to cross single digits in either of these categories. However, it has to be noted that the poker business was on a decline overall. This is true when compared to the previous year with cash games shrinking more than tournaments.
Online Gaming 2016’s Revenue of Tournaments
Tournament stakes declined 2.4% over 2015’s performance to finish at €69.6 million in 2016. Cash games dropped a whopping 9.8% to €83.7 million in 2016. Even PokerStars saw a drop in December’s cash game share by 6 points. Although its tournament share went up by 8 points during the same period.
The online gambling industry also generated €76.5 million in revenues from fixed-odds horse race betting. Online bingo brought in €27.3 million, an increase of 7.1% over the previous year. The four land based casinos in the country generated a collective revenue of €292.7 million during the year. Of this, Casino Venice earned €95.3 million. As is normal in the business, more than half of this revenue came from slot games. Roulette came in a far second.
The land based gambling industry in Italy has been under pressure. This has been the case ever since Rome’s mayor announced that electronic gaming machines had no place in the city. The mayor proposes many restrictions on these games and this was rattled the industry considerably. After all, the government earns a lot of money from the industry which also provides valuable employment.