Online gaming in Italy: ever more legal and mobile APRIL 27, 2016

  • 4) iSolutions pride: a matter of team play
  • 4) iSolutions pride: a matter of team play

On Wednesday April 20, the Observatory on Online Gaming (promoted by the Milan Polytechnic School of Management, the Customs and Monopolies Agency, and Sogei) presented at the Milan Polytechnic the results of its 2015-2016 research on the online gaming market.

In a market that is more and more reliant on mobile technology, total remote GGR in 2015 was 821 million, a 13% increase over 2014. This achievement, after four years in which GGR had been broadly stable, is explained by the adoption of effective measures to counter illegal gaming and by the improved quality and variety of the offer by license holders. In 2015 the incidence of online GGR on total GGR of games with cash prizes (online + offline) was 4.8%, up from the 4.2% in 2014. According to the observers, this increase went hand-in-hand both with a slight decrease in offline gaming (- 2.8%) and with the explosive increase in GGR generated by smartphone and tablet use. 2015 saw a 56% increase in the use of these devices (four times the rate for the desktop sector), which have now penetrated almost 20% of the market.

According to the Observatory's research, this development has been undoubtedly facilitated by license holders' investments in marketing and communication, but above all by strengthening the technological infrastructure and increasing the offer of online slots and sportsbooks: in 2015 there were over 400 initiatives offered by license holders (+50% over the previous year), such as "Real Money" games for smartphones (57 license holders) and the development of tablet apps (38 licence holders).

Among the different online offerings, casino games and sportsbooks made up over 70% of the total market, while poker registered a -18% decrease. The remaining games (Bingo, Virtual Betting, Lotteries, etc.) comprise altogether just under 10% of the market.

The Polytechnic Observatory also built up a profile of the players who choose online gaming: predominantly male (only 15% of players are women), aged between 25 and 44, residing in central-southern Italy; and spends on average €50 a month.

Overall, 2015 ended with increased GGR from players and total earnings, while recording a drop in the number of license holders. Although very lively, the market remains selective.

The analysis and close study of this data is a strategic step for companies looking to grow in the Gaming sector, as iSolutions is. From these numbers and growth rates we can understand what the market dynamics are and identify new gaming channels. This was also discussed in Milan, at the Workshop Premium held by the Polytechnic researchers after their report on the 2015-2016 research.

A new year has started for all the companies in the sector, full of opportunities waiting be exploited; we look forward to meeting again in 2017 to plots new points on the development graphs and to continue to boost the online Gaming sector.