- Gross Gaming Revenue rises 11.4% to €19.6bn overall
- Italy is the world’s fourth largest gambling market
- Growing interest from investors.
The online casino industry in Italy is continuing to grow at a rapid rate, according to official data released by the country’s Ministry of Finance.
The data showed that 2016 saw a rise of 11.4% in Gross Gaming Revenue over 2015, taking the total sum to the record figure of €19.6 billion.
The figures show that slot machines have continued their solid growth, accounting for €10.5m of all revenue, an increase of 10%. However, more recent figures showed that online sports betting and casinos continued to be the major drivers, with online poker suffering a hit.
Italy market is world’s fourth largest
Italy represents a major outlier in its relatively low population and GDP by standing out as the fourth largest gambling market in the world, according to an H2 Gambling Capital study.
This has lead to huge interest from online casino companies, with Casinopedia recently reporting on LeoVegas’ purchase of Winga.it
However, there are concerns from the country over the continued growth of problem gambling as a result. Last year, the Prime Minister Matteo Renzi pledged to cut down on the rapid growth of slot machines across the country, while a government report the previous year reported that as many as 1.3 million Italians were problem gamblers.
Anacapri, one small town in the southern island of Capri, decided to take drastic measures, and in a local referendum voted to outlaw all slot machines from the town completely, in an attempt to prevent younger Italians from becoming hooked on gambling. However, while the move has proved popular with the town’s residents, few other local authorities have since followed suit, and Italy’s growth in gambling appears set to continue.
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