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Italian gambling market: formation and features

italy gamblingAncient Rome fell, leaving an impressive legacy-roads, bridges, architectural monuments, laws, Chronicles, and even some rules of the road. This list can be continued indefinitely. It is difficult to imagine, but many of the rules of everyday life that we use were developed during the Roman Empire. However, everything has a downside, and often the era is attributed to inventions that have absolutely nothing to do with it. What about gambling? How much has the tradition affected the conduct of modern gambling in the country? Read the article below.

Historical essay

Historical essayIt is significant that even in ancient times in Italy, at that time part of the Roman Empire, several types of gambling were practiced at once. According to legend, Roman legionaries played backgammon in their free time from conquests, although the game then had a completely different name-Ludus Duodecim Scriptorum. It is believed that the Romans contributed to the spread of this game throughout the continent.

However, the fall of the Empire did not end the development of gambling. On the contrary, it is believed that baccarat is of Italian origin. Presumably, the game existed in Italy before 1440, and then emigrated to France. In the elite strata of Roman society, it was customary to play dice, but card games were popular among soldiers and average citizens.

Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’italia is an Italian lottery that dates back to 1530. However, it was more like modern bingo than traditional lottery draws.

Moreover, roulette is also credited with Italian roots, all thanks to a game called Biribi (similar to roulette). Although, in our opinion, France is still in the lead here.

The first Italian gambling house

The first Italian gambling houseNevertheless, the huge popularity among Italians only slightly accelerated the development of the gambling industry in the country.

The first casino, called Il Ridotto, was opened in 1638 in Venice. The purpose of opening the gambling house was to raise funds for the Italian government, which controlled the operation of the institution during the annual carnival.

However, the average citizen could not afford to visit a gambling establishment because of the high stakes. Rumor has it that the luxurious old casino was not inferior in scale to the modern ones – spacious halls, expensive furniture and art objects on the walls. Card games, Biribi and Basetta were particularly popular in the gambling establishment.

In 1774, the gambling house was closed, the time came for underground casinos, which were mostly associated with mafia gatherings. However, everything new, as we know, is nothing more than the well-forgotten old, and soon Il Ridotto will re-open its doors to visitors, although the sign will show off a completely different name – Casino di Venezia. The gambling establishment is still active today and is considered one of the oldest casinos in the world. And read about the most anticipated openings of gambling establishments this year in a separate article.

Italian gambling market: general information

Italian gambling market: general informationThe Italian gambling industry is represented by the work of both land-based gambling establishments and online gambling operators.

The following types of gambling are allowed in the country: poker, bingo, casino gambling (including card games, blackjack and roulette), as well as lottery and betting operations.
These types of gambling entertainment, as well as social games, are controlled by the national gambling regulator-Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli (ADM).
ADM is responsible for verifying that gambling operators comply with state laws, issuing licenses, and countering the illegal gambling business segment. As well as collecting taxes from licensees.


LicensingIn Italy, it is customary to hold tenders for obtaining gambling licenses. So, permission can be issued to one operator or several at once. The validity of licenses is specified in each specific situation. The last tender was held in 2018. licenses for the right to provide online gambling services were at stake. They are valid for four years.

After the operator is granted a concession, it enters into a contract with ADM, which contains all additional conditions and guarantees.

It is significant that in Italy it is customary to closely monitor the absence of conflicts of interest. For example, if a betting company wants to become part of the Italian gambling market, it needs to prove that it has nothing to do with the sports industry.


Gambling operators can offer users only the games that are certified in Italy. Betting limits are set for each individual type of gambling.

In Italy, gambling advertising is prohibited on television and radio, as well as in periodicals and the Internet. For violation of the law, the penalty is from €100 thousand to €500 thousand. the owner of the carrier who was engaged in the distribution of advertising information is subject to Sanctions.


taxesThe tax rate for online bingo operations is 25%. Fixed-odds bets are taxed at 20% for the land-based segment and 24% for the online industry.

Italian gambling market: participants

Milan is considered to be the gambling center of Italy. It is in this city that 10 gambling establishments are located. And the largest casino in the country is considered to be Casino de la Vallee-St. Vincent.

The land-based segment of the Italian gambling business is represented by 36 casinos. They are located in major or tourist cities of the country. The most famous gambling establishments in Italy are: Casino di Venezia CA’noghera, Casino de la Vallee-St. Vincent, Casino di Venezia – Ca ‘ Vendramin Calergi, Saint Vincent Casino and Resort, Casinò Municipale di Sanremo, Venezia Casino, Casino Le Palme at Hippodrome Abruzzo, Casinò Le Palme Civitanova.

The largest land – based gambling operators in Italy are Olympic Entertainment Group AS, Le Palme Group and CMV S. p. A.

According to the online publication World Casino Directory, the most popular online casinos in Italy are 888 Casino, NetBet Casino, Mr Green Casino, and SNAI Casino.

Topical news

newsThe biggest innovation of the last year for the gambling industry was the ban on advertising gambling products. Despite the fact that the decision was made in 2018, the law came into force only last year. Italians claim that the presence or absence of advertising does not significantly affect their desire to participate in gambling. Despite this, the government chose the path of a complete ban. In addition, bookmakers were prohibited from entering into sponsorship agreements with sports leagues and federations. The only type of gambling that was not affected by the ban was the lottery. Read more about this in our separate article.

In addition, as part of strengthening measures to protect players in one of the regions of the country, the rules for the sale of lottery tickets were changed. In order to prevent the sale of lottery tickets to persons under the age of majority, it is necessary to request identity documents.

In November, it became known that the online casino industry in Italy experienced a significant slowdown in growth. According to industry representatives, the government’s desire to explore the possibility of introducing a tax on winnings is to blame.

Recall that in July of last year, the consulting company Ficom Leisure stated a drop in the volume of the online gambling market in Italy by 10%.

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