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Italy FY 2020: revenue, top 10 operators, product

| By Daniel O'Boyle
In a year defined by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and resulting lockdowns, Italy’s igaming market grew 43.2% as retail closures accelerated a shift to online betting and gaming.

According to figures supplied by Ficom Leisure to iGB, revenue for all online verticals increased (see interactive Charts 1 and 2 below).

This included online sports betting, which held steady for the first half of the year despite the suspension of almost all global sports from mid-March to June, before a 74% year-on-year growth in H2 (Chart 5). As a result, total online betting revenue fell just short of €1bn (Chart 6).

Online gaming, meanwhile, saw gross revenue climb 47.1% to €1.48bn.

Within this segment, casino and slots were the main revenue driver generating 82.4%, or €1.22bbn, of the total. This represented a 46.5% improvement on 2019’s figures (Charts 3 and 4).

Meanwhile, the global boom in online poker under lockdown was reflected in a strong year for the vertical in Italy.

Cash games and poker tournaments generated GGR of €124.3m and €82.7m respectively. The vertical’s revenue for the year totalled €207.0m, representing year-on-year growth of 50.2% and reversing the trend of decreasing GGR. Bingo GGR accounted for 3.9% of the total online gaming market, at €58.2m (Charts 2 and 3).

The changes in the market led to some shift in the market share among the leading online casino providers in the market. However, the top four – of Pokerstars, Sisal, Lottomatica and Snai – all remained in place. Pokerstars, already the biggest online operator in the country, was perhaps the biggest winner, increasing its market share to 12.2%.

Looking down the rankings, however, there was change as 888 overtook Eurobet as its market share grew to 6.8%, while SKS365’s PlanetWin365 saw its share grow from 4.8% to 5.3% and Goldbet moved into the top 10, with William Hill falling out (Chart 7).

In online betting, Bet365 remained on top but its market share declined from 15.7% to 14.0%. The online betting giant lost its top spot in the rankings for November and December as the country went back into lockdown. This saw retail operators climb the charts, as their customers migrated online.

Snai, previously in third place, moved into a close second with 13.2% as Planetwin365 slipped to third. Eurobet and Sisal’s market shares also exceeded 11%, closing the gap with Planetwin365 (Chart 8).

“The Italian land-based and online betting and gaming market is experiencing an acceleration in operators consolidation through M&A,” Ficom founder Christian Tirabassi said. “The leading operators in the online and mobile betting and gaming are companies with an omni-channel offering (online marketing plus land-based player acquisition).”

This consolidation means that the top eight online betting operators now hold a combined 78.5% market share. The value of omni-channel products can also be seen, with six of these eight having some form of retail presence.

Looking at the combined online and retail sports betting market, online-focused operators were unsurprisingly the biggest winners. Lottomatica’s market share share rising 3.6 percentage points and Bet365’s 1.7 points. However, Snai remained on top with a 1.51% market share (Chart 9).

As the online poker market grew considerably, Pokerstars’ domination continued. While its share of tournament GGR dipped slightly to 58.2%, it increased its share of cash game revenue to 46.8%. Snai was a distant second in tournament revenue, while Sisal held that spot for cash games (Charts 10 and 11).

“Going forward, we expect the pure online operators to acquire Italian land-based networks (shops or land-based affiliates) in order to be able to compete in one of the largest online regulated markets in Europe,” Tirabassi added.

Scroll down for the infographic to track market growth since 2016, as well as shifting revenue shares over the years.

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