Italian Gambling Market Is Ruling And Ready For Law Changes
The online gambling industry of Italy has surpassed that of France and become the largest market for e-gaming in the entire Europe. The revenue of Italian gambling market witnessed a spurt from €3.4 billion to €4.8 billion in the years 2009 and 2010. It is predicted that a few minor alterations in the Italian gaming laws would make the gambling industry reach its zenith by 2012.
Till now, Italian poker players were prohibited to play in cash games. The law allowed them to participate only in online poker games. But, the Italian government has decided to amend the gaming laws and include cash game poker. It is expected that the amendment will take place by March 2011. It is also likely that the government will lift the ban that prohibits players to play other online casino games by the summer of this year. This will provide the operators more than half of the year 2011 to make the most of the growing Italian gambling market.
Gaming experts have predicted that adding cash games to the online poker market in Italy will add a whopping €400 million to the gambling industry. On the other hand, it is estimated that the online casino games will bring an additional €200 million in the year 2011 and an additional €1 billion in the year 2012. Such a stupendous revenue growth will make Italy the hub of online gambling and attract the international operators to enter the Italian online gambling market.
Everybody is looking forward to the amended law coming into force. There has been some delay due to opposition by certain authorities and companies.
Microgame was the first company to oppose the requirement for additional licenses as per the new law. Microgame is the present network provider for poker games in Italy. According to the company management, there were inconsistencies in the laws. They also demanded a clarification of certain clauses in the legislation. Their viewpoint was that it would be an injustice to the small and medium gaming companies by introducing additional licensing for them.
The Italian gambling legislation also faced a delay because of its proposed tax scheme. According to the Remote Gambling Association, the countries should utilize gross profit tax setup. The legislation, on the contrary, proposed a turnover tax, charged from the users and not the operators. But, the issue has been settled and it is decided that the Italian gambling bill will work through the legislation process. The licensing process, too, faced a delay. It required the operators to take a test to show that they fulfill the criteria.
The law changes, which seemed an easy process, got entangled in delays and oppositions because of the differences among the authorities. Now, the players are waiting with their fingers crossed to see the outcome. It will be a few more months before they can play cash poker and take advantage of the rewards that this lucrative industry has to offer.