Online Gambling in Italy Growing

Published Wednesday, June 10, 2009 - Online-Casinos.com

Online poker in Italy has gone up from 188 million Euros in 2008 to 200 million Euros in 2009. That's a significant increase just in online poker for one year.

Total wagers in Italy rose 9.5 percent in the first five months of the year to 22 billion euros, state gambling monopoly AAMS said. The obvious interest in gambling online in Italy has led to the Italian government promoting a direction that will help the remote gambling industry to gain more ground. New laws that will extend licencing agreements for casino poker, betting services and wagering on virtual events are being formulated.

Francesco Rodano, Chief officer of remote gaming at state regulator Amministrazione Autonoma dei monopoli dei Stato (AAMS), observed, that the goal is to submit the proposed laws to the European Commission within the next few months in the hopes of having the new laws in place by the end of 2009.

Rodano has commented that the tax levels for the new online games would be set at 20 percent of gross profits tax. This is an increase on the current 4.5 percent tax on gross gaming revenues on sports betting.

Rodano explained, "In tournament poker we can therefore take 3 percent of gross gaming revenues but that would not work in cash games as the operator takes a rake off every pot," "We will therefore take the tax off the operators' rake; this will allow them to set the rake at commercially viable levels."

Italy now licenses online poker tournament games and fixed odds sports betting. Italian online gambling is restricted to Italian gamblers on "internal" networks. Operators seeing the opportunity to expand have begun to lobby the government to open the closed system to international operators.



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