The Italian online casino market lost ground in February

Posted: April 1, 2022, 9:31 a.m.

Last update: April 1, 2022, 01:05 a.m.

The Italian online casino market continues to show its strength this year, although it is slipping. Gross gaming revenue in February fell from its January level, but was still better than a year ago.

Traveling to and around Italy is easier than a few months ago. This could be part of the reason online gaming revenue plummeted in February, with more people spending time outdoors (Image: Travel + Leisure)

In January, Italy’s overall online gaming business recorded a gross gaming revenue (GGR) of €324.9 million ($358.8 million). In eight months, this is its highest level and joins several record months of last year.

Ficom Leisure rounded up February figures, reporting a 22.3% decline from the previous month. The final tally was 147.7 million euros ($163.03 million). Although down from January, it was still better than February of last year.

The race for online games narrowed significantly in February. PokerStars, owned by Flutter Entertainment, was the definitive leader in January, but only controlled 8.67% of the market last month. However, that was just slightly ahead of Sisal, which took 8.57%. In third position, Snai of Playtech at 8.54%.

Increase in Italian online competition

Rounding out the top five, Lottomatica, with its 7.41%, and 888 at 6.84%. Eurobet (6.34%), Goldbet (5.09%) and Betsson’s StarCasino (4.37%).

Interest in poker continued to decline. In January, it had already fallen, and tournament revenue fell 28.1% in February. It closed at 8.2 million euros ($9.05 million) but followed a difficult month. January’s total was the highest recorded in the past 12 months. However, this was also 12.8% lower than a year earlier.

Poker cash game action fell even further. Overall, the segment recorded €5.6 million (US$6.18 million), a 25.3% drop month-over-month. It was also a 16.5% drop from February last year.

PokerStars dominated the tournament and cash game segments. He only controlled just under half of the tournament segment, but that was 400% better than Sisal, who finished in second place. Additionally, PokerStars controlled 42.51% of cash games, significantly outpacing Goldbet and its second-place finisher by 7.4%.

Sports betting activity down in February

The Italians also didn’t find many interesting sports betting options in February. Land-based and online sports betting recorded total revenue of €204.7 million ($226.03 million), down 3% from January.

On the bright side, the figure was an improvement from a year ago. In February last year, combined sports betting revenue was around €170 million ($187.71 million).

Snai controls the online sports betting segment and once controlled the entire segment. Its market share for online sports betting was 13.8%, barely beating Sisal at 13.4%. Based on total earnings, however, Sisal was in second place, with 15.6%, trailing Goldbet’s 15.7%.

Overall, online sports betting was less popular than its land-based counterparts. The segment generated €122.1 million (US$134.8 million), down 5.2% from January. It is also the lowest figure in the segment since October last year.

Online operator Microgaming is hoping to move up the list. It signed a distribution deal with Oryx Gaming last week. It will add content from Bragg Gaming Group’s Atomic Slot Lab, whose company promises to deliver “Las Vegas energy” to the online segment.