Gambling has been a part of Italian culture for a long time, dating back to the time of the Roman Empire. However, how does the gambling scene look these days? Let’s find out more about gambling in Italy.
Italian Online Casinos
Can you gamble online in Italy?
Yes you can gamble online in Italy. In fact, both online and offline gambling are completely legal in the country, as long as the operators providing such betting possibilities hold a relevant licence to do so. This has been the case since 2011, when gambling in Italy was made completely legal.
The country plays host to numerous land-based establishments as well, with these being open to both residents of Italy and foreign visitors. Additionally, foreign gambling operators can provide their online betting services to Italian residents, as long as they too acquire a specific Italian gambling licence.
Different gambling activities in Italy also come with different tax brackets. For example, 4.5% on the gross gaming revenue of sports betting is one tax bracket, while 20% on gross profits of casino games is another.
The online gambling sector is highly regulated in Italy, with many popular casino games being available to play, such as roulette, poker and slot games.
Gambling licences, regardless of whether for an online or offline establishment, come from the Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stato (AAMS). Various online platforms accept gamers from the country too, so residents don’t need to look far to find a casino or sportsbook that caters to them.
Online casino games in Italy
Italy has been at the heart of gambling in Europe for many years with table games hugely popular. The online equivalent is pretty amazing in 2018, with hundreds of different variations of casino classics available to play for real money. Check out our handy guides to learn more about specific games available on the web.
Euro online casino deposits
Being a part of the European Union, Italy is one of the many countries that opted to replace its own currency – the Lira – with the Euro. This change took place completely in 2002, meaning that since then, the Euro has been the official currency of Italy. When it comes to online gambling, this works quite nicely in Italy’s favour, because the vast majority of online casinos accept deposits and provide gameplay with this currency. It also means that there are various payment methods open to Italian gamers to utilise. Some of these depositing and withdrawing options exist in the form of the following:
- Credit and Debit Cards: Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, CartaSi
- eWallets: Neteller, PayPal, Skrill, ecoPayz
- Prepaid Cards: Entropay, Postepay, PaysafeCard, Neosurf
- Cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Altcoins
- Bank Transfers: Bank Wire Transfer, Fast Bank Transfer
Gambling history in Italy
Gambling, as mentioned before, has existed for many centuries in Italy. It actually dates back to the days of the Roman Empire. Back then, the predecessor to the modern game of backgammon was played – known as Ludus Duodecim Scriptorum. Roman legionnaires would play this, and they went on to spread the game across Europe. The first gambling house in Italy was opened in 1638. Existing in Venice, the ‘Ridotto’ was sanctioned by Italy’s government with the hopes of controlling the gambling activity of the citizens.
Stakes were high in the gambling house, meaning that even though entry was free, only rich people could afford to make any wagers. The games on offer were biribi – something similar to today’s lotteries – and bassetta. The Ridotto house was closed in 1774, which brought about the popularity of closed gambling clubs. These were given the name of ‘casinos’ – therefore, this word is itself of Italian origin.
Even though the Italian Criminal law proclaims gambling to be illegal, it also points out a difference between games of luck and games requiring skill. This is why sports betting, lotteries and many other gambling games are deemed to be legal within Italy. The State is the only entity that can allow gambling there and is the only organisation that can issue licences and regulations. Any gambling operation – be it online or offline – that is set up without a proper licence is at the mercy of punishment from fines through to imprisonment.
It was in 2007 that the Finance Act brought forth another milestone in the regulation of gambling in Italy. This legalised card games of skill, such as Texas Hold’em poker. Finally, in 2011, the Comunitaria decree provided full regulation for cash poker and casino games. Interestingly Pokerstars has a shared liquidity agreement in place between Italy, Portugal, Spain and France.
Italian online casino & gambling laws
The liberalisation of the online gambling market in Italy actually began in 2006. A complaint was received in 2003, forcing the European Commission to investigate and start infringement proceedings against the country. Such action was put in place to overthrow the Italian legislation at the time, which prohibited even the most legitimate European gambling operations from being able to offer their online gambling operations to Italian residents.
Following these infringement proceedings occurring, the Italian authorities made changes to the gambling laws. The new regulations came into power in March of 2010 that decreed that foreign operators could target real money online games to citizens of the country, as long as they held a licence from the Italian AAMS.
The AAMS is limited to providing 200 gambling licences, and many online operators have taken advantage of it. Today, there are many online casinos that provide their services to Italy and its citizens. The rules remain the same whether a casino is located within the country or whether it’s an offshore operation.
As long as they hold a relevant Italian gambling licence, then their services are available to the country. Simply put, Italy now has a very liberal gambling sector, although it is still strongly regulated and maintained by the State.
Italy rests in the south of Europe and is one of the most well-known countries to exist on the continent. It shares land borders with Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland and France and also houses two countries within itself – San Marino and the Vatican City. Surrounding all of its other sides is the Mediterranean Sea. The country has been a prominent one throughout the ages, with settlements being established there by multiple different civilisations, including the Phoenicians, Greeks and Celts. Today, Italy exists as a very popular tourist destination, having many great cities to visit, including Rome, Milan, Naples, Venice and Verona.