Gambling in Italy is legal. Every year this sphere of entertainment brings up to 8 billion EUR to the state budget. Italian laws allow not only land-based establishments, but also online casinos. The gambling industry in Italy is developing dynamically. The most popular types of gambling today are sports betting, poker, lotteries and slot machines.
Italian gambling legislation
At one time, the country became a pioneer in the field of organizing gambling on a legal basis. It was here, or rather in Venice, that the first casino in history was opened in 1638 – the gambling house Ridotto. Now gambling in Italy is regulated by a law passed in 2010. According to him, the following types of gambling are allowed on the territory of the country:
- sports betting and other sweepstakes;
- card games;
- slots and other games controlled by a random number generator;
- bingo and board games.
Until 2006 in Italy there was a ban on the types of gambling, in which the winnings depended not on the player’s skills, but on the case. However, under the influence of the European Regulatory Commission, the Italian gambling industry, the authorities changed their position, and gradually the list of permitted games has expanded. The list is now valid, which was formulated in the amendments to the law of 2011. In Italy, all categories of persons have admission to gambling, with the exception of those under the age of 18. Gambling establishments cannot be located near schools, churches and hospitals. Slot machines in Italy are allowed to be placed not only in casinos, but also in other public places with the appropriate permission.
In Italy, the Ministry of the Interior and the Autonomous Administration of State Monopolies oversee the activities of the gambling industry. Games based on sweepstakes and sports betting are taxed at 4.5% of total income, for casinos 20% of gross profit. Bingo and lotteries have a flat tax rate of 11%. When holding poker tournaments, the operator is obliged to pay 3% of the total amount wagered by the players.
Conditions for obtaining a license
The license that permits gambling in Italy is issued by the AAMS (Autonomous Administration of State Monopolies). To obtain the relevant document, the company must have a minimum turnover of EUR 1,500,000. Over the past two years, before the application is filed, the organization must have registered offices in Italy.
A company planning to organize the operation of an online casino is obliged to provide confirmation that the equipment and software used is stable and safe. The obligatory one-time payment is 350,000 EUR. In addition, operators are required to periodically pay a concession fee of EUR 50,000.
The following types of gambling are licensed in Italy:
- games of skill;
- poker (including tournament games);
- casino games;
- horse racing bets.
The license is issued for 9 years and becomes valid approximately 4-6 months after registration.
Online gambling in Italy
Italy was the first country in the EU to legally allow online casinos to operate. The path to the legalization of virtual gambling began in 2006. The reason for this was an investigation by the European Commission. The restrictions in force at that time were contrary to a number of EU directives. As a result, a law was passed in 2010 that removed virtual gambling from the ban.
The most popular betting services in Italy are Bet365, Snai, Eurobet, Unibet. The most popular lottery among Italians, according to statistics, is Sisal. Below is a list of the most visited online casinos in Italy:
- Spin Palace;
According to Italian law, online gambling operators are obliged to provide technical means for the safety of players, as well as create conditions that prevent the involvement of minors in the game. Websites that do not comply with the requirements and do not have an Italian license are blocked by telecommunication service providers.
Popular slot machines
In Italy, as well as in other European regions, the products of world famous developers are popular: Greentube, Playtech, NetEnt, Betsoft, IGT, Microgaming and others. According to the ratings of Italian online casinos, the Book of Ra slot machine is the absolute favorite among the players in this country. The slot of the Austrian manufacturer Greentube, dedicated to the Egyptian theme, is popular both in the classic version and in the updated versions: Deluxe and Deluxe 6.
Some of the most popular slots in Italy also include the following developments:
- Treasures of Troy (IGT);
- Dolphin’s Pearl (Greentube);
- Starburst (NetEnt);
- Sizzling Hot Deluxe (Greentube);
- Gladiator (Playtech);
- Avalon (Microgaming).
There are no popular developers of slot machines in Italy, and mostly foreign software is in demand.
The gambling industry in Italy is showing steady growth. So, in 2015, the profit from online casinos increased by 31.5%, and in 2016 only poker showed an increase of 7.7% for individual games and by 18.6% for tournament games. At the moment, the segment of sports betting is characterized by the most intensive profit growth. For example, in March 2017, Italian bookmakers earned 44.5% more than in the same reporting period in 2016. The growth of online casino profits, in turn, amounted to 30.3%.
In the near future, it makes sense to predict a further increase in the popularity of sports betting among Italian players. The Italian gambling market is of interest to international operators. Such giants as 365bet, 888 and others are already operating in the country. Probably, many world-famous operators are waiting for the expiration period of a 9-year license from already operating companies. The re-licensing procedure will allow you to summarize and assess the feasibility of entering the Italian market. The development of the gambling industry in Italy also allows us to predict the emergence of its own large development companies.
Italy has repeatedly played the role of a country that sets a positive example to other states in terms of gambling regulation. This also applies to the opening of the first ever official gambling house, and the creation of a positive precedent for the legalization of online casinos in the EU. Italian laws are equally loyal to both players and operators.