Italian Online Poker Struggles Amid Aggressive MarketingPublished October 22, 2015 by Lee R
Aggressive marketing stalls progressive regulation.
Online pokers failing figures reveal that net revenue for ring games in September fell 20 percent to €6.5 million ($7.3 million) from €8.2 million ($9.3 million) of September last year.
General wagers were down as well despite these upward trends in specific online gambling activity. The unflattering totals show that the amount wagered by players in cash games dropped from €330 million ($372 million) to €242.2 million ($273 million).
This is consistent with the struggle Italy has had to sustain revenues for online cash games since they were legalized in 2011. The problem now is to address the tournament poker issue, because that has been a reliable online stream, maintaining comparative health through stable income since 2011.
Current figures now show that revenue from tournament buy-ins dropped 19 percent, down to €58.7 million from €72.5 million last year, with net revenues falling from €5.3 million to €6.4 million.
Online Regulation in Italy
In a country where gambling has proven popular with Italian players who frequent popular online casinos such as Mr Green, 888 Casino and William Hill, the regulatory landscape now remains somewhat of a spaghetti: an attempt at economic invigoration through a 20 percent tax on gross profit instead of gross gambling revenue has stalled. Concurrent proposals to impose new taxes on digital services are gathering momentum as well, threatening revenue income even more.
Too Much Advertising?
A major political opposition is rising from politicians who have become offended at the amount of gambling advertising that is being broadcast on television since legalization began. This is the basis for a groundswell of conservative support for a bill banning all forms of gambling advertising is wending its way through
the Italian parliament to further compromise the underperforming market as it is.
It certainly is a reminder of the importance for gambling organizations everywhere to exercise restraint in advertising, once concessions have been made that allow them to regulate.