Italy 2019: Market and operator performance

31 January 2020

The Italian igaming market grew by 13.3% to €1.73bn last year, as PokerStars and Bet365 retained their market share leads of the two dominant product verticals of casino and sports betting.

More than €120m of the €203m expansion, which occurred despite the full force of the gambling advertising ban coming to bear on operators from July 2019, was accounted for by casino, with sports betting adding over €85m during the year.

The 13% year-on-year uplift however represented a slowdown in growth rate compared to prior years, which saw the dot.it sector expand by +17% in 2018 and +31% in 2017.

Casino saw its share of the remote market grow to 48% from 46.4% in 2018. The year also saw market leader PokerStars increase its share to 10.4% from 9.6%. Sisal overtook long-time second largest operator Lottomatica by holding its share firm at 8.1%, as Lottomatica saw its share recede to 7.9% from 8.5%.

According to market share data processed and provided exclusively to iGB by Ficom Leisure, Bet365 retained its position at the head of the remote sports betting market with 15.7% of GGR, but both the Stoke-based operator and one-time leader PlanetWin365 saw saw their shares contract on the previous year as Snai, Eurobet and Sisal each made gains of more than a percentage point, with Playtech-owned Snai gaining 1.8%.

Ficom Leisure's Christian Tirabassi told iGB this week that pure online operators had been hit harder by the national ban on gambling advertising which came into full force in July of last year, reflecting the branding advantage enjoyed by their competitors also running retail businesses in Italy.

In poker, PokerStars retained its commanding lead in both ring games and tournaments, but saw its tournament share sink back nearly three percentage points to 60.4%, in contrast to cash games where it increased its share by nearly two percentage points to 41.8%.

The poker market as a whole however contracted from 2018, tournament revenue down 5.2% year-on-year to €77.66m.

The bingo sector contined to rebound, albeit from a smaller base than the other main products, revenues from Italian-licensed operators up 21.4% year-on-year to €31.7m. 

Scroll down for the full 2016-19 interactive dashboards, including operator market shares for 2018 and 2019 across casino, sports betting and poker.

Ficom Leisure also provides monthly figures on the New Jersey online market in the New Jersey iGaming Dashboard and Pennsylvania in the Pennsylvania iGaming Dashboard, which are available on iGB North America. It also provides quarterly figures on the Spanish online market in the Spain iGaming Dashboard, on the Danish market in the Denmark iGaming Dashboard, and on the Portuguese market in the Portugal iGaming Dashboard.