A 90% turnover growth of the online sportsbetting market in Italy together with the recent and upcoming changes in the Italian online gaming market are creating a quite friendly play-field for operators and suppliers removing the inefficiencies and issues of the last years.

The Italian online sportsbetting market almost doubled its turnover in February 2015 if compared to the previous year reaching € 227.7 million. The revenues on the contrary were in line with the previous year at € 20.2 million due to punter-friendly results, but this shows that the market restarted growing after a difficult 2014.

And such growth will be further fostered by the current and upcoming gaming regulatory changes that include the following:

Quick registration

The very burdensome formalities required for players’ registration were one of the reasons why a number of players were giving up before completing the process. The new rules already into force however provide for an initial “light” registration to be then followed by the collection of the additional data within the following 30 days. However, players will be able immediately start gaming after the completion of the light registration.

20% margin based flat gaming tax

The turnover based tax is a current major issue for sportsbetting, bingo and poker tournament games. But a law proposal to be approved shortly will introduce a 20% margin based tax across all the online games and for both landbased and online sportsbetting. This is a massive change and it will be interesting to see also which costs will be deductible from the taxable basis. Also, such tax regime would avoid distortions in periods when players are very lucky.

CTDs

The cure proceeding for the so called CTDs of earlier this year not only added 2,400 authorized betting shops to the market. But it was a considerable change also for the online sector since these CTDs have a very strong presence online. It will be interesting to see their impact on the online gaming market.

Growth of casino and sportsbetting

The shutting down of .COM operations by casino suppliers to operators targeting Italian players without a license is considerably increasing the size of the market. At the same time, the entrance into the sportsbetting market of major global operators attracted a large number of players from the unlicensed market.

New rules for sportsbetting

The sportsbetting regulator plans to finally get rid of the official schedule of bets and events and allow full flexibility in the offering of bets. At the same time this will be the opportunity to remove some old fashion regulatory restrictions allowing the same types of bets available on .COM platforms.

Next steps?

The above changes have already been planned and in some cases are already into force. Then there is no doubt that the Italian regulator is in continuous discussions with other regulators. And it will be interesting to see whether issues like international liquidity and mutual recognition of standards will be sorted.