iGB Market Monitor: February 2019

Date: 
21 February 2019

With the rising tide of populism putting many industries in the political firing line, the gambling sectors in Italy and Poland are unfortunately no exception. In Italy, the economy is showing signs of the business-bashing policies of the ruling coalition government, having slipped into technical recession the past two quarters.

While the dot.it sector turned in an impressive performance in 2018, GGR breaking through the €1.5bn barrier having hit the €1bn landmark just two years previous, it will also have to contend with the small matter of all forms of advertising coming to an end this July.

In Poland, government concerns over the proliferation of illegal gaming machines are shaping the policy response to gambling more broadly, and we are, according to report author Scott Longley, seeing “the controlling instinct of the ruling right-wing Law and Justice party permeate into the online world”.

With non-monopoly operators only allowed to offer sports betting taxed at an unsustainable rate of 12% of turnover, national lottery monopoly Totalizator Sportowy launched its Playtech-powered casino offering totalcasino.pl in December.

With this unlikely to capture any significant share of the dot.com gaming market, logic would suggest a subsequent rethink of this policy by the government but no one there is “holding their breath”, according to Longley.

A far more positive outlook is found in Denmark however, where recent growth trends continued into the third quarter and the Danish Gambling Authority has been focusing its efforts on combatting the remaining black market and maintaining the high degree of channelisation to dot.dk brands.

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