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Sports betting drags Italian market into unseasonal monthly fall

| By Joanne Christie
Despite another impressive month for online casino, a further decline in sports betting revenues saw the Italian online market fall to a five-month low in April.

Revenue across all verticals dropped to €288.1m in April, down 8.7% on March’s total, though this figure still represented an 83.5% increase on the same month last year.

While comparisons with last year are perhaps irrelevant due to the first wave of the pandemic having been in full swing then, the month-on-month fall this April shows a worrying pattern when compared with previous years.

Though the Italian market has been growing strongly over the past five years, there are seasonal dips in the calendar. However, in all years prior to 2020, the month of April showed a jump in revenues when compared with March.

It was sports betting that dragged the market down last month, with revenues falling to just €103.5m, the lowest monthly total since last June, and a 21.7% drop on March’s total.

Online casino, on the other hand, performed well, with casino and slots hitting their second-highest monthly total ever in April. The €161.2m in revenue represented a 1.6% rise on March’s GGR and a 64.1% increase on last April’s total.

The end result of the strength of casino last month and the weakness of betting was that the former saw its share of the market grow further, reaching 55.9% against 35.9% for sports betting.

In terms of market shares, PokerStars continued to lead the casino, tournament poker and cash poker markets, with shares of 10.48%, 51.28% and 43.58%, respectively.

Snai climbed to the top of the leaderboard for combined online and retail sports betting revenues, even with retail outlets remaining closed all month. Its market share rose to 14.5% last month, up from 12.2% in March.

Sisal fell back to second place with 12.8%, followed by the online-only Bet365, which climbed back into third place with 12.6%.

With retail outlets having started to reopen from May, it will be interesting to see how the market shares of betting operators develop during the rest of the year.

All data and figures from the regulator are processed by leading European corporate advisory firm Ficom Leisure, a specialist in all segments of the betting and gaming sector.

Ficom Leisure also provides monthly figures on the New Jersey online market in the New Jersey iGaming Dashboard, Pennsylvania in the Pennsylvania iGaming Dashboard and Iowa in the Iowa iGaming Dashboard, all of which are available on iGB North America.

It also provides quarterly figures on the Spanish online market in the Spain iGaming Dashboard and the Portuguese market in the Portugal iGaming Dashboard.

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