Italian gambling market set for online expansion
Italian legislators are launching a bidding process for 120 new licences to operate online gaming sites in Italy, alter publishing a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union.
Of these 120 online gambling licences, it is expected that around 40 will be issued to operators already present in the Italian gaming market who are looking to renew.
Operators taking part in the bidding process will have to pay €200,000 to participate, with the process expected to raise €24m for the Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli.
The licences up for grabs encompass online sports betting, card games, slots, bingo and other regulated gaming activities.
In order to qualify to bid, all applicants will need to have a physical presence in a country located within the European Economic Area.
Operators including Winamax, Marathonbet and Pinnacle have already expressed an interest in applying.
It has been a bumper period of growth for the Italian online betting sector, which reported phenomenal full year revenue rises of 59.4%, with reported revenues topping €555.6m during 2017.
This total includes over €82m in the month of December alone. Italian sports bettors wagered a record €9.9bn in 2017, with roughly 56% of this figure (€5.65bn) being placed via Italian licensed online betting sites.
Dialling down into individual operators, the UK’s bet365 was the leader in overall revenues, accounting for 17.4% of the Italian online market, while SK365 and Snaitech finished second and third, with revenues shares of 12% and 9.5% respectively.