A blacklist of gambling websites has been updated by Italian gaming regulator AAMS to include an additional 57 domains that are to be blocked within the country’s borders.
The blacklist was last updated in October, 2011, and the latest update brings the total number of websites forbidden to Italian punters to 4,215, CasinoChoice reported.
The blacklist was established six years ago under the 2006 Finance Act, which outlined the regulatory framework of the Italian market. Provisions of the Act require online gaming operators to secure licensing from AAMS in order to operate in the country. However, the Act and the subsequent blacklisting have not proven effective as many Italian gamblers continue to play on blacklisted sites.
Italy’s online gambling market had at one time been the model of efficiency for EU member states that were seeking a highly-profitable, regulated online gaming regime. Italy’s revenues from online gambling, however, have declined as of late, prompting AAMS to discuss pooling liquidity with its regulatory counterparts in France and Spain.
Online gambling revenues in Italy from casino games, bingo and poker dropped to €48.8 million in August, down 11% from the same period last year. The only gainer for the month was sports betting. Poker’s decline was especially troubling, as Italy’s ring-fenced player pools are lacking the traffic typically found on dot.com websites.
Italian gaming officials hope to boost revenues by introducing a broader market, such as rolling out online slots and exchange betting later this year. However, the Remote Gambling Association—the largest trade association in the industry—has argued that licensed gaming operators in Italy will continue to have difficulty competing with non-AAMS sites unless changes are made to the current tax structure.