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Located in Southern Europe, Italy is home to some of the most visited destinations in the world including Venice, Rome, Milan, and Florence. The country boasts of rich culture and hosts many recreational activities all year round.
Besides tourism and recreational activities, Gambling in Italy has been in the spotlight for many years owing to the size of the gambling industry and its contribution to the exchequer. But gambling is not new in Italy; its existence dates back to the days of the Roman Empire where the game of Backgammon was born.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, many gambling-traditions continued. It is believed that the game of Baccarat has an Italian origin and supposedly existed in Italy before the 1400s. Here are 5 things you should know about gambling in Italy.
1. Gambling is Legalized in Italy
Different European countries hold different views when it comes to gambling.
Some countries such as Ukraine have completely banned gambling. In other countries, such as Andorra gambling is partially regulated. In Italy, however, gambling, betting, and lotteries are legal and are strictly regulated.
Compared to other countries, the gambling laws in Italy are considered fairly liberal. While sports betting and lotteries are permitted in different venues all over Italy, gambling in private clubs or public places is considered illegal. Only the state can permit gambling activities and licensing is done by the Autonomous Administration of State Monopolies (AASM).
2. There are more than 200 Gambling Websites in Italy
In the past, the Italian government put in a lot of effort into suppressing online gambling in the country but was not successful. Then, it tried to monopolize online gambling which also failed. Eventually, the country legalized online gambling and enforced tough regulations.
Today, there are more than 200 gambling websites in Italy and the number keeps on growing. About 150 of them are online casinos while the rest are online poker and bingo websites. The majority of Italians love to play online slots such as Starburst, Gonzo’s Quest, and Book of Dead. You can play these games online at Casumo.com.
3. Italy’s Online Gambling Market Is the Second-Largest in Europe
Italy’s online gambling revenue has been growing exponentially over the years, reaching a new milestone in 2016 where it grew by a whopping 25%.
Industry data shows that Italy’s regulated online gambling market revenue amounted to €1.026b in 2016, which was a 25% increase from 2015, making it the second-largest online gambling market after the UK.
The casino market accounted for €439m of the total revenue, followed by sports betting at €350m, and Poker at €133m. The other outlets, particularly lotteries, Bingo, horse racing, and virtual betting accounted for the remaining €97m. Revenue from online gambling continued to increase but at a decreasing rate to reach €1.6b in 2018.
4. Gambling Advertising is Partially Prohibited in Italy
Consumer discontent with gambling advertising has reached a breaking point in many European jurisdictions and some countries have even outlawed gambling.
Other countries, like Italy, where gambling is legalized, have strict regulations regarding gambling advertising. In Italy, advertising of gambling products on the internet, radio, and TV is prohibited. The only exception is provided for national lotteries.
5. There are 5 Land Based Casinos in Italy
While Italy boasts of hundreds of online casinos, it has only 5 land-based casinos. Surprisingly, none is based in Rome—the capital city and most visited destination in Italy.
Casino de la Vallee, located in St. Vincent, is the largest land-based casino in Italy with over 500 slot machines and around 90 game tables. Other casinos are Casino Venice, Casinò di Sanremo, Casinò di Campione d’Italia, and Ca Noghera Casino.
Popular games you’ll find in these casinos include blackjack, baccarat, Caribbean Poker, roulette, and Chemin de Fer.