Italy’s betting market continues to grow, despite facing a number of future obstacles combined with further regulatory uncertainties under the governance of the Lega-5Star coalition government.
During August, Italian betting recorded total gross-gaming-revenues (GGR) of €111 million, representing a 34% increase on corresponding 2017 results.
A breakdown of August GGR figures sees growth in retail betting to €61 million (+41%), whilst licensed online betting operators recorded combined revenues of €50 million (+27%).
Year-to-date, total sports betting GGR has reached €963 million, reflecting €552 million wagered in betting shops (+ 43%) and €411 million (+ 41%) wagered on authorized websites.
Though betting leadership will be somewhat comforted by this growth data, it will not be reassured by Lega-5Star’s latest actions related to governing the Italian gambling sector.
At present, it appears that the coalition will halt the progress of Italy revamping its operational framework for sports betting, which would have introduced new directives/requirements on cash-out functionalities and Asian handicap markets.
Italian stakeholders had anticipated the operational revamp to be delivered by H2 2018, as Italy moved to expand its sports betting market with a number of new bookmaker licensees.
Nevertheless, it now appears that betting leadership is back to square one, having to convince new Italian Minister of Economy Giovanni Tria that changes and reforms are wholly necessary.
Anxious nerves will be further agitated by Italian Deputy PM Luigi Di Maio’s most recent verbal attack on the gambling sector, declaring ‘bad blood between the new majority and the industry’ during a Parliamentary hearing.
Not holding back, Di Maio has further advised that Lega-5Star should introduce tougher legislation on bookmaker licences and slot machines allocations, set forth in Italy’s upcoming Budget review.
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