The overall picture of online poker sites in Italy doesn’t look bright. The latest market report from the country’s regulator AAMS is in and shows the story from January to April.
The first four months of 2012 show an overall decline in online poker revenues for operators under the Italian gambling laws. The gross gaming revenues from cash poker games is down almost 27 percent, while the tournament revenues are a bit brighter: only 12 percent decline compared to one year ago.
Microgame People’s Network continues to enjoy the leading position, however Poker Stars Italy is catching up rapidly and already has 26 percent of the market share, only a percentage point smaller than the main rival.
Industry analysts told Italy gambling news that the online poker market decline follows that of the French market, where ARJEL, the French regulator, reported an ever larger drop.
Naturally, the Euro crisis comes first to mind, when we’re looking for explanations, however, online casino and online sports betting businesses seem to do fine and even improve on their financial figures, despite overall grim economic situation.
Another reason for decline in Italian online poker figures may be the drop in popularity of annoying over-taxation. Some key industry players blame both factors. The current Italian tax rate for online poker operations is a whopping 20 percent on gross profit, which is way above the one suggested by independent assessment company as the one conducive to the market growth.
So far, there are no indications that the tax regime will change anytime soon, which means poker operators will have to find other ways to attract more players and increase their revenues.