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Surge in betting activity drives Italian market turnaround

| By Joanne Christie
The final stages of Italy’s football season saw the sports betting vertical stage an impressive near-50% rebound in May after an unseasonal dip the previous month.

Revenue across the overall regulated igaming market rose to €328.5m last month, up 14% on April’s total and 94% on last May, albeit the latter was heavily impacted by the pandemic.

After falling for two consecutive months while casino revenue moved in the opposite direction, it was the sports betting vertical that led the market upwards last month.

Despite the continuing impact of retail closures, sports betting GGR rose to €153.6m in May, with all of the revenue coming from online.

The May total represented a huge 48.3% jump on April and put betting back on par with casino, which pulled in €155.1m in revenue last month, a slight 3.8% drop on April but still an impressive 32% rise on last May.

The change in fortunes pushed the country’s two main verticals close to parity again, with casino accounting for 47.22% of the market and betting 46.74% last month.

Betting brands with a retail presence continued to fare better than online-only operators even without stores open. Online-only Bet365’s share of the market continued to fall last month, dropping to its lowest level for four years at 8.9%.

Sisal led the market with a share of 13.1%, up from 12.8% the previous month, while Goldbet was not far behind at 12.8%, up from 11.8% the previous month.

Similarly, in casino the online-only Pokerstars continued to lose market share, albeit it narrowly clung to its lead with a market share of 9.82% in May. Sisal was close behind with 9.10%, while Lottomatica came in third with 7.99%.

There appears to be no danger of the poker giant losing its crown when it comes to poker in Italy, with its share standing at 48.36% for tournaments and 42.01% for cash games last month.

That’s unlikely to provide much comfort to Stars, however, given the Italian poker market’s continuing decline. Last month both tournament and cash game GGR fell back on the previous month, by 21% and 16%, respectively.

The decline was even worse when compared against May last year, with tournament revenue down 42.2% and cash revenue 36.4%.

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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