The casino industry in Italy in 2023: an overview

In collaboration with the editorial staff of

Among the pastimes that most fascinate the Italian people, like sports or motor sports, we can certainly include the gambling. The fact that a state body such as theCustoms agency and monopolies own legal gambling demonstrates the importance of the industry. Let’s face it: recognizing the enormous impact that gambling has on the country, regulating it and guaranteeing its legality is certainly not an easy task.

Further complicating matters for the ADM is the fact that today, with the explosion of web portals, it is necessary to supervise not only the physical casinos or the occasional machines located throughout the area, but also the various online casinos. It is precisely the latter that are making a lot of noise, due to their recent expansion both in terms of users and in terms of offer.

This article will analyze the current situation of this billion-dollar industry, with particular attention to forecasts for the future.

Online casinos in Italy

For online casino we mean those portals that they offer games of chance similar to physical casinos (such as slot machines, poker, blackjack and the like) and which often expand their schedule by also including sports bets of various kinds. In order to play, with a view to extreme transparency that characterizes the work of the ADM, it is necessary to register with one’s own documents (ie no more and no less than what happens in land-based casinos) and connect a valid payment method.

THE online casinos are real companies and nothing prevents them from having physical offices or land-based game rooms (just think of the giant SNAI). They do not physically own the games they offer, but the latter are granted through economic agreements by the major production houses (also called providers or software houses). This distinction is particularly important because when we talk about online casinos in Italy we don’t necessarily mean either that the company is of Italian origin or that the games it offers are created by Italian providers.

Indeed Italian casino companies, although expanding, are not very many today. The same happens for providers: in Italy we have excellent ones and certainly in development, but they would not be enough, by themselves, to cover the immense public demand.

How is it then that the web space has so many products and portals in Italian? It is easy to say: even abroad they have noticed the passion that the Bel Paese reserves for Gambling and foreign online casinos have begun to request ADM authorization to be able to operate legally on Italian territory. Analyzing the current situation, it goes without saying that their investment has been amply rewarded: the market is constantly expanding and revenues have never been higher.

Casino and Covid: migration on the web

The great fortune of iGaming sites certainly derives from two main factors:

  • there convenience of being able to play from anywhere by electronic device;
  • L’huge schedule, given that concentrating a very large number of games in one place is certainly the exclusive prerogative of the internet world, not being limited in terms of space. A land-based casino could never compete.

These aspects proved to be particularly useful in 2020, sadly known as the year of the Covid-19 pandemic. In a paralyzed world where leaving the house was impossible for long periods of time, physical casinos were also forced to close, with losses of up to -47.2% compared to 2019. This was certainly a huge blow to the gambling industry, which has written one of the blackest pages in its entire history.

Is this the final budget? Was it conceivable to imagine gamers resigning? Of course not. As with many other sectors of the economy and of entertainment in general, 2020 has simply accelerated a process that has already been underway for some time: the digitization. That is to say that in just 10 months the traffic was channeled almost entirely online.

In October 2020 there were revenues never seen before on the web: the total volume of bets placed reached 103.6 million euros (ie +57.5% compared to the previous year). According to this article, the lockdown would in fact have “helped” online gaming, leading it to achieve an overall growth of 39%.

Online gambling: what if it becomes a disease?

A topic that is always very heartfelt when it comes to gambling is gambling addictioni.e. gambling addiction. The debate, especially since betting has moved to the web, has reignited with force.

The concern is concrete, also because many studies mention the fact that the extreme accessibility that online casinos offer could be harmful for fragile individuals. The work of the ADM is also placed in this sense. In fact, any online casino is obliged by the Agency to prepare a section dedicated to the prevention of behaviors that indicate pathological gambling addiction. It is not a requirement to be taken lightly: in fact, hefty fines and medium and long-term suspensions are envisaged for casinos that do not post posters to prevent pathological behavior within their casinos (whether virtual or physical).

The intelligence section of the ADM performs a continuous monitoring function towards its affiliates, both online and terrestrial, leading to the timely discovery of illegal plays, non-compliance with the rules, as well as possible approaches to the game by minors. A portal not subject to controls of this type would be decidedly dangerous, also because it would escape the control of the Authority, possibly promoting incorrect behavior that could lead to serious consequences.

A market worth more than 2 billion

Once the health emergency was over, the players welcomed the reopening of the terrestrial rooms with joy. The appeal of physical casinos has remained unchanged over time and there is no reason to think that they will ever be completely replaced.

However, the nefarious year has at least opened the doors to other frontiers of gambling, ferrying players to the web who otherwise would not have appeared so soon. In fact, the surge that online gaming has had has not stopped and has not remained limited to the year of the pandemic. Some statistics show that most of the accounts created in Italy in 2020 were kept active even after, denying those who claimed that the web experience was circumstantial.

Here are the numbers. Between terrestrial entertainment halls (which continue to function anyway) and online gambling sites, the gambling industry in Italy recorded a turnover of around 2 billion and 200 million euros in 2022. These are mind-boggling figures, with a growth of almost 22% more than in 2021.

What future awaits casinos in 2023?

What will happen in 2023? Is this sensational growth destined to stop? Well, according to the site bestcasinoonline
it seems not. The first data confirm a further expansion of the sector, even estimated at around 21%. The in-depth analysis took many factors into consideration and is available at the link:

Numbers aside, there is one thing to be sure of: the world of online gambling is destined to interface with ever new frontiers, such as the metaverse or cutting-edge technological innovations, for example. All we have to do is wait confidently, sure that this transition on the web is only the beginning of a new adventure and that the end result will certainly be able to entertain its end users, creating in the meantime unique opportunities in terms of work and research.