When it comes to gambling, Italy has one of the largest gambling industries in the world, valued at around €18 Billion. The reason that it is has been able to thrive for so long is thanks to the ease of acquiring a gaming license, as long as you are a registered LTD in country willing to pay the levy, as well as exceptionally low tax rates on gambling in the country, which were once as low as 3.5% for land-based Sports betting. But the issue has arisen that the retail industry betting is slowing down, which could spell disaster for the countries gambling industry as a whole, as people go to online casinos based further afield to bet.
How it Stands With Gambling In Italy
Along with the rest of the world, online betting seems to be taking over in Italy but as more and more players go online, it is cannibalizing the retail betting industry within the country. Last year saw the online betting industry accumulated a 34% revenue increase compared to the retail betting marked, which saw just a 7.65% increase.
Despite this current prominence in the online betting market, it is not looking likely to stay the way it is. As higher taxation for online betting sites and recent law changes are likely going to lead to serious issues for the industry as a whole. It is unlikely players will be looking to stay on a sinking ship when there are countless online casinos based elsewhere that will happily open their doors to them.
Issues are going to be caused for the industry, both online and off, from the newly formed government in the country. Deputy Prime Minister, Luigi Di Maio, has already expressed his displeasure with the concept of gambling, and believes that the practice destroys families”.
One of the first moves the new government made in power was to announce a blanket ban on advertising of all betting products across all media platforms as of 2019. This has caused much dismay in the industry as it is obviously going to have huge financial implications for all betting organizations.
Taxes on the industry are also likely to be affected. As online sports betting comes with a 22% tax rate already, if this continues to rise it will definitely deter potential online betting venues from setting up shop in Italy. Especially when they could head slightly further south to the gaming tax havens such as Malta and Gibraltar like many online casino companies have already done.
All the while this new government continues to reshape how the industry operates, the Italian betting firms will be sailing in rough water and so these seem like just the start of the issues.
The Results Of This
Meanwhile, as all this is happening in Italy, other countries are expanding their online casino horizons and will happily feast on the spoils of the decaying Italian betting industry. For example, those operating in the US and Canada.
The rise in new online casinos Canada is continuing and as there are now serious talk about rolling back antiquated laws on the prohibiting of single-game-sports betting, it could attract interest from foreign players too. Those looking for a new venue to bet on sports will happily bet there, or at US venues where they have already relaxed laws on sports betting. As Italy joins the UK and Sweden in the tightening of their casino industry laws, Northern America developing online casino industries will rejoice.
For now, Italy still remains the seconds largest online gambling industry in Europe, but this may not be for long. If these internal factors continue, it is likely that the online casino bubble inside Italy will pop, as players go elsewhere for their online casino’s kicks.