AgiproNews’ Italian View: October highs meet an autumn of disillusion

Italian betting and gaming continues to grow, but all incumbents face tough adjustments as the Lega-5Star coalition government maintains its hostile stance against the industry.

October Data published by Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli (ADM) details a further record-breaking month for Italian online gambling.

As the sector heads towards its upcoming Lega-5Star blanket ban on all forms of gambling/betting advertising and marketing (inbound January 2019), online casino posts a record-breaking October, with the ADM reporting segment gross gaming revenues totalling €65 million – its highest figure since 2011.

At a current run-rate ADM calculates that Italian consumers have spent approximately €582 million on online gambling this year, with the high spend Autumn period yet to finish.

Perhaps the most intriguing data presented by the ADM, relates to the Italian online betting scene, where Italian legacy brands take on foreign incumbents.

Stoke-on-Trent powerhouse bet365 wrestled back the top spot as most popular online bookmaker with a reported market share of 15%, representing an October GGR of circa €9 million.

Closely behind bet365 is Austrian GmBH Group brand SKS365, who have recently concluded their biggest advertising campaign to date, securing 15.5 of market share.

The two leading settlers, that have swapped positions numerous times during 2018, and are chased by Italian legacy gambling giants Snaitech, Sisal, Goldbet and Lottomatica.

Whilst online gambling shows robust form, at a retail betting level, GGR margin dropped to €77 million (-29%), as Italian bookmakers were hit by a number of unfavourable sporting results.

However, Italian giants have had no time to lick their wounds, as closing October Lega-5Star presented its first coalition 2019 budget.

Signed-off by Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Lega-5Star have rejected European Commission appeals, stating that they will stick to their high spending ‘anti-austerity’ budget with no revision intended.

Headaches appear inbound for Italian betting stakeholders, as the government intends to increase taxes on slot machines and video lottery terminals.

More dismay for Italian betting stakeholders, sees Lega-5Star make no attempt to move forward with the promised to revamp of betting’s regulatory framework for markets and transactions.

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