Online Gambling Laws In Italy
Gambling has existed in Italy since at least Julius Caesar. After all he is the one who said, 'Alea iacta est' (The die has been cast), when he started the civil war in 49BC.
However, it has only been in the past couple of years that the Italian authorities have seen fit to legalise online gambling.
Initially, Italy was opposed to online gambling and did its best to stop foreign operators from providing sports betting services to Italian players - even going so far as to block some gambling sites. This was done in an effort to keep the monopoly of the Italian sports betting and horse betting industry in the hands of the National Horse Breeders Enhancement Society (UNIRE) and the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI). The government even launched its own poker site!
When the European Commission saw this is as a violation of rights and took legal action, the Italian authorities backed down and began to relax their stance against offshore online gambling companies, online casinos and poker sites, breaking the monopoly. The Italian government passed a law in 2007 making online gambling legal in the country.
Today, online gambling is legal in Italy and fairly well regulated.
Any Italian citizen is allowed by the law to gamble online at online casinos, poker sites and sports betting sites licensed by the government. Players will have hundreds of online gambling sites to choose from, both local and offshore. Some of the top online sports betting sites open to Italian bettors are Bet365, Bodog and Betsson. Most of these online gambling sites accept payment in USD or Euros.
Italy also has about a dozen mobile casinos and scores of bingo and poker sites. When it comes to online casinos, players will have a good variety to choose from.
The Autonomous Administration of the State Monopolies or the AAMS handles the online gambling companies and regulates their licensing in addition to its usual duties. Italy take its laws very seriously and those companies found in violation of Italian online gambling laws will be subject to criminal trials, fines and other restrictions.
Italy has also authorized the licensing of online betting exchanges and several online real money casino games that are still considered illegal in other countries. However, just like France, the AAMS requires gambling companies seeking to cater to Italian players to base their servers locally and to pay a fee of €300,000.
Another feature of the online gambling laws in Italy, is that initially online poker was made legal along with blackjack as long as they were offered in tournament form with an entry fees as the stake. Players could also play online poker games and online satellite games and qualifiers. This law was updated in 2011 when poker ring games were also allowed, with a maximum stake of $1000.
After Italy opened its online gambling market, it received a good percent of revenue from this gaming sector. In the future we can expect to see more local and offshore companies entering the Italian market while the profits grow. However, the authorities may once again try to curb offshore companies from taking too much of revenue away from the local companies unless the European Commission steps in to protect the rights of these companies to offer services in Italy.