The online casino industry in Italy has been very healthy since the market was opened up. In fact, online casinos are legal in Italy and any operator who strictly adheres to the conditions can apply to gain approval from the AAMS ( Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stato). At the moment the AAMS only deducts 20% of the gross product which perfectly suits the legal Italian operators who are able to make a profit.
In this way the offer from casinos is balanced because players can legally play their favourite casino games, the operators are taxed in a fair manner and the refund rate is 90%; which is higher than in real casino games. The Italians have visited online casinos en masse to discover another way of gaming and the amount of player accounts opened has exploded. The operators’ business income should be healthy since the forecast for online cash games for this year is put at 10 billion euros and for next year at over 20 billion euros. This leap forward can be explained by the provision of slot machines which are the most sought after games for Italian players. In fact in the first quarter of 2012, online casinos with an AAMS’ licence will be able to offer slot machine games and the operators should make huge profits especially when one takes into account the Italians’ infatuation with this game.
Europeans are great fans of slot machines in contrast to Asians who prefer table games and cards. Italy broadened its range of games by firstly legalising sport betting and online poker and then online casinos. Playtech software took advantage of this by becoming the first software operator to receive its licence for legal online gaming in Italy. It must be said that Playtech has chosen to respect the legislation in European countries and doesn’t offer casino games to countries which forbid them. In fact, Playtech withdrew from the Italian market while waiting for this market to become legal and then requested its licences for sport betting, online poker and online casinos.The William Hill group uses Playtech technology and this online casino is legal in Italy with William Hill Casino. Groups like William Hill should have a leading position in Italy due to their very broad range of casino games and also to their expertise in the area of gaming built up over several years. The competition in Italy will be stiff because of the italians’ love of gaming and also their “player value” (a term used in the world of online casinos to indicate the quality of the players) which is greater than that of players in other European countries. Just as Italy has launched its austerity measures to deal with its debts, the deductions of the taxes from online casino games could well be a financial windfall which arrives with perfect timing.