Italy’s gaming market grows year-over-year in April

The Italian iGaming market posted its first upward trend in a long, long time in April. This is the first time that the gambling segment in the country grew slightly thanks to stronger than expected interactive betting since November 2021. April results were higher than April 2021, but the numbers were still below the March 2022 baseline.

The game in Italy remains quite stagnant

Italy operates under some of the toughest marketing conditions and advertising is virtually banned, making it a little more difficult for consumers to navigate gambling brands. This has naturally made it harder for people to find believable but arguably safer gambling websites from a consumer perspective.

Italy’s interactive games market posted a total of 292.2 million euros ($307.27 million), a contraction from March’s 302.4 million euros ($318 million). However, the results were still better than the 288.1 million euros ($302.96 million) posted last April. Interactive games suffered mainly from the outsourcing of sports betting, with online betting falling by 6.7%.

Segment revenue was €118.9 million ($125.03 million). Meanwhile, the four biggest casinos in the market seemed to be losing momentum against other competitors in the market. The four gaming space giants, including Sisal, Snai, Lottomatica and PokerStars, posted declines, ranging from 7.3% for Lottomatica to 8.8% for PokerStars.

However, in terms of sports betting dynamics, Sisal and Snai have managed to grab a bigger market share. Meanwhile, PokerStars continued to dominate the poker segment and the market that goes with it. The numbers for poker have remained fairly stable. PokerStars currently holds 46% of the gambling market.

Slow road to recovery given challenges

Italy has emphasized consumer safety, meaning there is no partnership between sports betting or gambling entities and models or sports teams. Public advertising of gambling has been banned in Italy since January 1, 2019, at the behest of the then populist Five Star Movement government.

The complete erasure of gambling ads posed some challenges. The first is that legitimate stakeholders are struggling to reach customers, but the most pressing issue according to some is that the black market currently accounts for 23% of all money wagered in Italy.