Bet365 and Pokerstars Lead Online Betting in Italy as Sports Wagers Rise

February 3, 2016 •

bet365-italy-sports-bettingWhen it comes to sports betting in Italy that has a culture for loving and obsessing over its ‘Calcio‘, and Bet365 in Italy has taken advantage of that. They have become a leader in the local online gambling market has recently shown very good gains in its casino and sports betting vehicles. In Italy though, while sports betting has gone up, poker has continued to decline in popularity.

Looking at stats rleased from the Italian gambling regulatory body, the AAMS, Agimeg.it recently reported that Italian-licensed online casino sites in 2015 have generated revenue of €327.5m which is a 31.2% increase over 2014’s figures. That figure is staggering.

Previously, Lottomatica (GTech) was leading the online casino market with a 14.7% lion share. Sisal was far behid at second with 9.7%, and William Hill was third with only 8.3%. Hills suffered the biggest drop of 2015 by online-only casino operators, when they started off 2015 with a casino share of 9.4% in January, but fell to 7.1% at the end of the year.

The rest of the top 10 online casino sites shape up as such: Snai (6.3%), Gala Coral’s Eurobet brand (6.2%), Bwin (5.4%), 888 Holdings (4.5%), Novomatic’s Greentube-Starvegas (3.3%), Winga (2.8%) and Paddy Power (2.8%).

Sports betting in Italy has risen 28% to €5.5m, mainly due to a sharp rise in online betting and wager making. Online handle was up almost 80% to €2.8b and revenues were peaking at 19% to €254m. Bet365 is the company that dominated the handle chart with €1.05b. That a lot more than SNAI-Cogetech’s combined online and land-based handle of €813.5m, including Lottomatica brands Better/Totosì’s €711.5m. They are leading the pack by a mile.

In online-only sports betting charts, Bet365’s figures quadrupled their closest rival, Eurobet, who was at €276.5m, while William Hill only managed €233.5m. The rest of the online top-10 looked look like this: Better/ Totosì (€212.6m), Sisal (€192.8m), SNAI-Cogetech (€189m), Paddy Power (€160m), Bwin (€157.7m), Betclic (€47.5m) and Goldbet (€39.2m).

How Bet365’s has managed to dominate the market is all the more impressive when you see that they only launched their Italian site in September 2014. But as luck would have it, the company’s timing was perfect, since their arrival on the market coincided with regulatory changes in Italy that dramatically changes and grew the list of the types of bets and wagers licensed operators would be able to offer Italian bettors.

Possibly online poker will start taking a back seat to sports betting sine tournament earnings have fallen 4.2% to €71.3m and cash games went down to 22.3% which is €83.7m. Online bingo’s numbers also have fallen to 7.1% which is €25.3m.

PokerStars Italy has so far domimated the poker market with a 70% stranglehold on the local online poker industry, and now overall they own 2.58% of the country’s online gambling market according to Italian news site Agenzia Giornalistica sul Mercato del Gioco. They have used Neymar Jr. effectively to market their Spin & Go product, so it can be assumed that their sports products will also on the rise. Their decision to extend that enterprise to include online casino games is also slowly making gains too.

With their sports betting and daily fantasy sports (DFS) product soon to hit the market, PokerStars presence will probably grow even stronger over the next 12-months. And along with Bet365, they should totally dominate the Italian online gambling industry.