The Future of Online Casinos in Post Pandemic Italy

The Future of Online Casinos in Post Pandemic Italy

The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic and countries being forced to introduce lockdown measures to try and limit the spread of the virus has led to several negative consequences. Few positives emerged from the restrictions imposed on populations throughout the world, and one of them is the growth of the global online casino network.

The enormous growth in the Italian iGaming sector in the last year

With people forced to stay in their homes, mental health became a serious consideration. Consequently, the internet and online casinos became avenues of escape from the everyday boredom of enforced inactivity.

Statistics published by Ficom Leisure to iGB show the dramatic increase that has taken place over the last five years in Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR):

  • 2016 – €1 billion
  • 2017 – €1.31 billion
  • 2018 – €1.53 billion
  • 2019 – €1.73 billion
  • 2020 – €2.48 billion

The increase over the last year is an enormous 43.35%.

The games on which Italians like to gamble the most

According to a report by European gaming, in 2019, the worldwide online gambling industry was valued at $53.7 billion, and the single biggest market was Europe at $22 billion. The size of the global market in 2020 was estimated at $66.7 billion, and by 2027, estimates predict it will be worth £127.3 billion.

Even though lockdowns and closures decimated the global sporting industry, online sports betting bounced back to Italy. And in September this year, revenue experienced a significant surge, which stood at €119.4 billion.

Big though that figure is, online sports betting is only the second-highest online gaming sector in Italy. The top sector was online casinos and slots, totaling a whopping €139.7 billion.

Local licensing by the Italian gaming license authority

With such an active online casino industry, Italian gamblers need to choose their online casinos with care. As with any activity over the internet that involves sending and receiving money, there is always the risk of falling victim to scams and cybercrooks looking to steal identities and personal financial details.

With thousands of online casinos out there in cyberspace, all the bona fide ones will carry a gambling license issued by a recognized and highly respected authority like Malta Gaming Authority or the UK Gambling Commission. In Italy, that authority is the AAMS which stands for “Agenzia Dogane e Monopoli di Stato.”

Guidelines that must be observed to hold an AAMS license

Italians wishing to participate in gambling on the local online casino scene should be sure to only play on one of the best AAMS online casinos in Italy.

An AAMS license is invaluable for player safety and security. It ensures:

  • Online casino platforms must be located within the European Economic Area.
  • Casinos must prove they manage games within Europe that have a gross turnover of a minimum of €1.5 million in the last two years.
  • Players must be able to enjoy an RTP (Return to Player) of at least 90%.
  • Players receive their winning within 7 days maximum.
  • A casino must follow industry best practices in terms of financial transaction security.
  • Websites must employ appropriate state-of-the-art encryption software.
  • Game software must be fair game certified.
  • Online casinos do not approach players under the legal gambling age.
  • Platforms must offer Italian language customer support.

Supporting mental health and well being

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we all live, work and play, and many of these changes will be permanent. The online casino industry continues to thrive and grow in Italy. If players remember to use AAMS licensed sites and gamble responsibly, their mental health and well-being will be well served.

What does the future hold?

The Decreto Dignità (Dignity Decree) has significant limitations on the ability of online casinos to advertise their wares. Without that restraint, casinos would probably have gained more new customers.

What could potentially happen post-pandemic is that the owners of online gambling platforms will seek to acquire conventional land-based shops and affiliates to give them a local presence and the right to apply for an AMMS license.

Authorities are aware of a potential threat to the increase in gambling addiction, but millennials don’t feel tainted by any such stigma. They openly discuss gambling with friends and family as a harmless and rewarding recreational pursuit. Gambling prowess and skill are seen as part of modern culture, which creates pressure to liberalization strict gambling laws.

Gambling on handheld devices such as iPhones, smartphones, iPads, and tablets is also expected to continue to increase thanks to the ongoing improvement in mobile software technology and the convenience of things like Wi-Fi hotspots, giving punters access to the internet wherever they are.  As a result, more casinos will offer mobile platforms.

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