Gambling is big in Italy, and the numbers clearly show that it’s only getting bigger. Offline, at the casinos, slots are dominant, taking in a whopping 52% of all money gambled. On the internet, poker is king, followed closely by internet sportsbooks and bingo. Gambling expenditures among Italian players are at an all-time high, with some sectors seeing numbers nearly doubled over last year.
Total online gambling spending in Italy so far this year is somewhere around €3.2bn, up 39.6 percent over the first 8 months of 2009. During August alone, some €225m was spent at online poker sites in Italy, though the figure is down from July. This August figure is also up over last year by more than 28 percent.
While poker and other skill games are the most popular internet casino games in the country, online sportsbooks in Italy are also very popular. Internet sports wagers make up about 20% of all money gambled online in Italy. So far, numbers are down this year over 2009, but this can probably be attributed to the fact that football clubs had a later start this year due to the 2010 World Cup this summer.
Lastly, internet bingo in Italy is also booming, both online and offline. Combined bingo spending so far this year is up over the same period of 2009. July alone saw €155m spent on bingo games, though the vast majority of this was spent offline, with internet bingo taking in just €11m.
The only gambling operator in Italy to see profits fall is scratch card operator Lottomatica, which has seen monthly profits down by as much as one third over last year. Superenalotto, on the other hand, saw a huge surge in profits during August, thanks to some highly publicized rollovers.