The opening of France’s online gambling market to international operators was one of the most highly anticipated events of 2010. However, Italy’s online gambling industry is outperforming France by becoming the biggest market for e-gaming in Europe.
From 2009 to 2010, the Italian online gambling market saw a revenue increase from €3.4 billion to €4.8 billion. Despite the huge boost of profits, Italy has nowhere to go but up. A few small changes to Italy’s gaming laws will see profits soar by the year 2012.
Previously, Italian poker players were restricted from playing in cash games, as laws only allowed them to take part in online poker tournaments. The option to play cash games will be added to the industry in by March of this year. Additionally, the ban that restricts playing all other online casino games will be lifted this summer, giving operators more than 6 months in 2011 to take advantage of the Italian market.
Adding cash games to the Italian online poker market is predicted to bring in an additional €400 million to the industry, while online casino games will add €200 million in 2011 and €1 billion by 2012. This will be a huge profit boost for the Italian online gambling market, and is likely to encourage international operators to enter the market.