Online poker revenues have dropped sharply in Italy in the first half of this year, according to unofficial figures that have been released.
Gross gaming revenues in Italian online poker tournaments fell by 36.9 per cent year-on-year to €57 million (around US$73.3 million), while gross online cash game revenues fell by 33.5 per cent to €78.5 million (around US$101 million). This was in line with figures that were released in the first quarter of 2013, which showed year-on-year declines of 34.6 per cent for cash poker and 36.4 for tournament poker.
Those declines were stated by regulatory body AAMS as being due to “a general decline of spending on games in Italy and…the decline in popularity of online poker in Europe”. The argument of a decline in general spending on gaming does not hold major weight as Italian online casino revenue jumped by a whopping 94.5 per cent in the first half on 2013. The huge jump was attributed to the introduction of online slots in the southern European nation in December 2012.
The continuing drop in Italian online poker numbers can also be seen in the average number of online traffic to some .it poker domains. According to PokerScout, iPoker’s Italian service had a seven day average of 550 players in mid-May. It now stands at 470, a drop of just below 15 per cent.
International had a seven day average of 445 players on its online poker service in mid-May, but that has fallen to 360 players just two months later, a decline of 19 per cent. Ongame and PeoplesNetwork’s .it domains have managed to keep the same numbers of poker traffic to their sites in the past two months.
PokerStar’s Italian domain remains the most dominant site in Italy for online poker, with a current 7 day average of 1720 players on the site. Deputy Director of the Italian Customs Authority Luigi Magistro has previously said that online gaming taxes would not be raised due to previous falls in gross online gaming revenue.