Active players: 15.000.000
Regulated gambling products: Fixed odds sports betting, betting exchanges, casino games, lottery, horse racing, pool betting, poker, bingo
Operator types: Land-based and online. Unlicensed websites are ISP blocked & blacklisted
Active license & costs: Currently 120 licenses have been issued. Fees are €350,000 with 22% on GGR for sports betting, €200,000 with 20% on GGR for online casinos
Designated authority: Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli (ADM)
Status: Fully regulated, operates under licensing system
Italy is not only the birthplace of the Roman Empire, the Rennaisance and Giuseppe Garibaldi but also home to the first ever organized gambling establishments. Apart from being rich in history and culture, Italy is also a country where all forms of gambling are celebrated in a fairly liberalized environment. Approximately one out of four Italians gamble on a weekly basis regardless of age, gender or economic background as betting and lotteries are considered a casual pastime. The Bel Paese is acclaimed as a prime example of how sports betting should be regulated with the ADM holding a firm grasp on the local market by protecting Italian bettors whilst dealing fairly with betting sites in Italy.
Did you know that?
- Italians have the highest per capita gambling spending in Europe
- About 1 of every 4 Italians gamble online or offline on a weekly basis
- Although betting on unlicensed sites is considered illegal, no legal action has been taken against players
- You are not required to pay any taxes on your betting winnings
Best .com betting sites (Miglior siti scommesse)
The Italian betting landscape closely resembles the licensing system employed within the United Kingdom and Denmark. This is evident by the presence of a clear licensing Authority (the Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli), a large number of license holders and a recent surge of populist outcry due to alleged gambling problems. In terms of regulation, online operators are expected to pay a one-off fee of €350,000 along with 22% on their gross gaming revenues to obtain a license which is valid for a period of nine years and operate under a .it domain. The most significant requirement is that they have a physical presence within the European Union or any member state of the European Economic Area as this has not allowed certain respected non AAMS bookmakers from obtaining a license. Currently, the Italian market is dominated by Snai, Planetwin365 and Bet365, with Eurobet, Lottomatica and Betaland also amounting for a large share.
The abundance of betting sites options and non taxed winnings mean that Italians are among the luckiest gamblers when it comes to freedom of choice. Betting is an everyday phenomenon both on local operators like Snai, Sisal and Lottomatica, foreign licensed bookmakers like Betfair and foreign bookies (siti scommesse stranieri) like Betrally, Betrebels and 1xbet Italia. Although the current legislation states that betting on non aams bookies is considered illegal and can lead to heavy fines, no legal action has been taken towards players ever since the first gambling law was drafted in 2006.
Competition among bookmakers
The competition between the local, foreign and unlicensed bookies is fierce as every operator is diligently trying to obtain a larger share on the Italian betting market. This led some bookmakers to switch to more aggressive marketing efforts for their odds and bonuses, like securing football club sponsorships and prime time on some significant Seria A matches TV streams. The 2017 Seria A – 1xbet sponsorship deal was seen as the straw that broke the camel’s back as 1xbet had not secured a local license by the AAMS. The government stepped in and proclaimed that all gambling advertisements will be banned starting January 1st 2019, a move that it is estimated to cost around €120 million from club sponsorships league-wide. Furthermore, a second round of smearing was declared against non licensed betting sites, as the ADM is trying to limit their influence within Italy.
Despite the recent scare tactics towards non AAMS bookmakers, there are many bookies that should be considered as trusted and reliable. The reasoning behind ADM’s arguments is the fact that they are not based within Europe and can thus not obtain an Italian license. This means that non AAMS bookmakers like 1xbet, Betrebels, Campeonbet and Betrally Scommesse Italia should be totally trusted.
Italian players are luckily enough free to choose whichever payment method they please to deposit on licensed and foreign online sportsbooks. The most common deposit methods include PostePay, direct bank transfers along with Skrill and Neteller. Generally, most bookies will let you deposit both through mobile and desktop, there are however some restrictions on certain payment methods, like MyBank, where verification is generally more strict. In terms of cryptocurrencies, most Italian bookies will not offer this option due to its low demand from players. If you are looking to retain your financial privacy by using Bitcoin or any other digital currency, then your best bet is to try a foreign bookie that accepts deposits and withdrawals.
I have mixed feelings on how Italy chooses to regulate online gambling. Surely, the liberal approach towards the number of licensees and the low taxes are working to the players’ benefit, however, the recent populist attempts to crack down on betting sites ads are sure to harm both consumers and operators alike. If the ADM truly has the players’ interest at heart it should try to pressure the existing license holders to improve their product and try to better protect minors instead of demonizing non-European bookmakers. They way I see it, most punters will slowly but steadily turn to non AAMS bookmakers for two simple reasons:
Your financial details remain private. Odd as it might seem to players from other countries, all major and minor banks in Italy will disclose their customers’ transactions to the MEF (Ministero dell’Economia e delle Finanze) as they are forced to share these details.
No government interference on your bank balance. There have been many instances during the past two years where the MEF confiscated betting winnings from bank accounts in a unilateral agreement towards debt settling. What is directly evident is that government is forcing the bettors’ hands to turn to non-licensed bookies as payouts from non AAMS sites are not declared as gambling winnings.
Best betting sites in Italy
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Frequently asked questions
Q: Is sports betting legal in Italy?
Yes, online sports betting is completely legal in Italy as the local market has been regulated since 2006. There are currently 120 licensed AAMS bookmakers in Italy along with a whole host of foreign betting sites that have not yet received a license.
Q: Can I access foreign bookies?
Sure you can, as accessing and signing up on foreign non AAMS bookie is similar to registering on a licensed betting site in Italy. The only minor drawback on this one is that certain websites have been blocked by internet service providers at the behest of the ADM, so you may find your options being limited in some cases.
Q: PlanetWin365 vs 1xbet. Which one to pick?
Although every bookie has its pros and cons, there are certain aspects that separate a quality bookmaker from a mediocre one. PlanetWin365 is a respected operator with a large player base within Italy, however, when it comes to odds, markets, promotions, and fast payments 1xbet is miles ahead. PlanetWin has an average 10% overround on pre-match football markets that can increase up to 12% during live betting. 1xbet, on the other hand, boasts a steady 2% on prematch, that does not surpass 4% during in play. The amount of markets also tips the scales towards 1xbet as they have an average of 130+ markets on most top leagues, compared to the 110+ found on Planet Win. Last but not least, it’s true that Planetwin has a lucrative sign-up bonus that reaches 100% up to €100, however, 1xbet offers an exclusive 100% up to €130 first deposit bonus, by entering the promo code BOOKSPY.
Q: Should I join Betrally Italia?
Betrally is one of the best foreign bookmakers in Italy due to their high odds on Seria A and many football markets. Although they are not currently licensed by the ADM, they are one of the safest choices when it comes to punting as they are active in dozens of countries and have been active for many years in the industry. By joining Betrally today and entering the special promo code 100MITO you can claim a 100% up to €100 bonus.
Q: .it vs .com domains. Which should I choose?
There are practically few differences when trying to pick a .it vs .com betting site. What separates these two operators is that an .it domain means that the specific bookie has received an AAML license and can legally offer its products to local players. Dotcom websites, on the other hand, operate on an international level and accept bettors from various countries.
Q: Which bookies offer a welcome bonus (benvenuto bonus bookmaker scommesse)?
Nearly all bookies will offer a sign-up offer to new customers, similar to most other countries worldwide. Claiming the best of these offers is entirely up to you, you can, however, check a list of all the bookmaker bonuses that are currently available.
Q: Is there a list of good new bookmakers (nuovi bookmakers)?
The newest bookies to enter the global betting landscape include Betzest, Roy Richie and LVBET. Feel free to visit our full list of new bookmakers to get a more detailed look.