As citizens of a proud nation, Italians love staying true to their traditions. And this is no different when it comes to routines around betting and gaming, according to Leadstar Media CEO and Founder Eskil Kvarnström.
Despite the explosion of online gambling in so many countries around the world, data first collected by Statista (presented here by Eurispes) found that offline was still comfortably the preferred way for Italians to play for money – whatever their chosen vertical might be.
According to the data, almost three in 10 Italians surveyed play for cash prizes (28%), but 18.3% of that group were offline only. Conversely, only 2% of gamblers claimed to bet exclusively online across the year, while 7.9% were active across both.
New trend for Italian punters
However, the tide does seem to be shifting, with many Italians now opening online betting accounts and therefore also becoming eligible to claim a welcome offer.
To highlight this point, data from national media agency Agimeg revealed that online spend across gambling verticals in Italy increased by 29% in January 2020 against the corresponding month of 2019 (€153m to €197.5m).
This is a trend of real interest to Kvarnström, whose affiliate network includes Italian betting affiliate site BookmakerBonus.it.
He also expressed his confidence in the prospects of the Italian online market, by saying: “We have always known that Italy is a large market with huge potential, despite having a large number of players who still prefer to undertake their betting offline. We’re confident that eventually we will see an even bigger curve in the trends towards online betting.”
Online betting yes, but mainly on mobile phones
Players well acquainted with online betting have often cited the simplicity and speed in which you can find and place bets from your mobile device in real-time as a major advantage.
This is something that Leadstar Media has identified as a key factor to success in Italy and optimised its site for mobile use accordingly. As of today, 80% of users on BookmakerBonus.it are visiting the site using their mobile phone.
The hope, for Kvarnström at least, is that those players that have been converted to betting with online platforms in the last weeks will continue to do so after everything has settled down and the country returns to business as usual.
Benefits of online betting
“Online betting has in fact a number of distinct advantages when compared to betting offline in the local shops,” says Kvarnström. “Obviously we don’t expect online betting to replace the social factors of congregating and discussing the potential outcomes of games that so many Italian players have become accustomed to over the years.
“However, we’re hoping many will begin to appreciate the distinct advantages that online betting can offer such as cashout, which are simply not available in brick-and-mortar shops.”
Cashout remains an unknown feature for most Italian punters. Just over a year ago, we learned from Agimeg that the country’s ban on the concept would be lifted on a trial basis. However, this period was soon closed, alongside Asian handicap multiples, after Giovanni Tria was forced out of government last September.
Despite this regulatory U-turn, Kvarnström explained that bookmakers offering an exchange platform, some of which you can find referrals for through BookmakerBonus.it, are allowed to provide the cashout feature to their customers.
Kvarnström concluded: “So besides being an established betting market for many years, Italy is still in the transitional stages when it comes to making the switch towards online betting and we want to help our customers to understand the numerous benefits by providing them with informative content on our site.”