The Italian gaming market posted the first signs of slowing growth since heavy new restrictions were introduced – while the coalition government that authored them is starting to come apart at the seams.
Figures released by Italy’s regulator, the Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli (ADM) show licensed sports betting revenue come in at only E95.3m in July – down 17 percent from the same period last year.
Turnover was also down year-onyear by 6.3 percent – to E909.7m The negative figures are undoubtedly influenced by the lack of a major tournament – last July included the finals of the World Cup – however that didn’t prevent comparative markets such as Spain or Italy from growing despite it – notwithstanding flat growth across 2018.
Moreover, with ad restrictions it’s likely online growth will be severely hobbled in the future – as players have little way if distinguishing between white and black market operators.
A light at the end of the tunnel is coming in for the form of political disputes within factions of the populist coalition, and the media regulator – Autorita per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni (AGCOM).
The media agency essentially says the ad ban is unworkable and would have the inverse effect of promoting the black market – echoing what the industry has been stating for 12 months.
Coalition members have since recommended disbanding the regulator in place of one more politicised body.
Meanwhile gaming undersecretary Alessio Villarosa is planning on adding yet more restrictions to the ad ban policy so that it includes “simple general information” as well as the ban on TV radio and sports.
Later that week however, Matteo Slavini leader of the La Liga – the right wing arm of the coalition, filed a vote of no confidence in the appointed prime minister Giuseppe Conte.