Online Betting in Italy
Not just famous for the year the Azzurri won a fourth World Cup, 2006 was also responsible for a significant change in the law surrounding online gambling in Italy, a move which has seen the industry go from strength to strength and sit only behind the UK in terms of betting turnover across Europe.
There’s no denying a relaxation in the regulations has seen Italy become one of the biggest gambling markets in Europe with online betting firmly at the forefront, in part, due to the country’s love of football, as well as other sports such as tennis, formula one and volleyball. And the industry is only going to get bigger!
Italian bettors curious to know about all things online betting in Italy, need not stray far from this page. From where to bet, the best markets to bet on, to the best bonus offers around, BookiesBonuses has all the bases covered.
Setting up an online betting account in Italy
Once you’ve put some research into your preferred bookmaker or even just picked the best welcome bonus offer, you’ll need to set up an account which essentially, is a breeze and should take no longer than ten minutes to complete.
Each bookmaker may set out the opening page a little different but the information needed is always the same. Remember the law allows for Italian bettors to open accounts with international firms, all fully licensed and reputable.
Follow our 4-point guide to setting up an online betting account in Italy – one for each of the Azzurri’s World Cup wins.
1, Find and click the link which reads ‘Set up an account’
2, Enter your personal details into the on-screen registration form. This will include:
- Name, address, date of birth, mobile number, valid email address
- Account preference such as how the odds will be displayed (decimals/fractions)
- A username and password unique to you, as well as a security question and answer.
3, Add details for a legitimate bank account to transfer monies to and from.
4, Finally, it’s most likely you’ll need to activate your account. This is achieved by accessing the mail sent to your registered email address by the betting company. Simply click on the email verification link and the account set-up should be complete.
- The Euro (€) is widely accepted by most if not all online bookies so no worries in terms of having to exchange money
- Your first deposit amount is likely to be €10 minimum, in line with the chosen promo
- Withdrawing money will be set at a minimum amount but shouldn’t incur a charge
The legal picture of gambling in Italy
Online betting in Italy is thriving and is set to become even more competitive. But this hasn’t always been the case.
Originally, the subject of whether gambling is a game of luck rather than skill played a significant part in the strict rules enforced across Italy.
Pre-2006, only a small number of state-backed betting operators were allowed to run in Italy as a result of the government’s strict regulations; this included the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) and the National Horse Breeders Enhancement Society (UNIRE).
To say the gambling laws were the most restricting across Europe prior to 2006 wouldn’t be an exaggeration. The rulings in place back then prohibited around 600 betting sites from running, a situation that smacked of the establishment monopolising the industry and which violated EU regulations. Subsequently, a 2006 investigation into the Italian gambling industry was carried out by the European Commission.
This proved a turning point for the entire gambling landscape in Italy with legislation introduced to permit other games of skill, while the investigation also opened up the market up to bookmakers outside of Italy (but still in the EU) to make themselves available to Italian bettors, providing they met the necessary requirements and were able to obtain an Italian license from the official licensing body, the AAMS (Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stado – Autonomous Administration of the State).
As a result, some of the biggest European bookmakers in the world – Betfair, William Hill, Ladbrokes are allowed to operate within the country and attract an Italian audience, a scenario which has helped Italy become one of the world’s most profitable online gambling markets.
How the legislation affects you
Bettors in Italy have always been well protected and even more so under the most recent laws. There’s next to no chance of Italian players being exposed to anything other than reputable companies given the stipulations an online bookmaker must adhere to in order to gain a license from the AAMS, which includes being based in the EU, meeting turnover figures, using high functioning software and paying a compulsory fee of €350,000 to support the AAMS in regulating the market.
The AAMS also work closely with other EU based regulatory enforcers to discover better ways to control the industry and make sure players are guarded from illegal betting sites by the highest level of protection possible.
In a further boost, players are exempt from paying tax on any winnings - only the operators are obliged to pay under the legislation. It appears the powers that be have looked across at countries such as France who tax betting companies to the high heavens making it impossible for them to make a profit, a scenario which leaves open the possibility of an uncertain market from developing.
Future of online betting in Italy
In essence, Italian bettors can count on a stable gambling market for many years to come. It remains to be seen how the growth in betting online will affect traditional betting shops in Italy, especially given the decline in horse racing profits which counted for much of the betting activity in land based establishments.
It’s widely known how big Italy’s online gambling market is, and with international operators able to ply their trade with minimal fuss, it’s only set to grow in popularity and revenue going forwards.
Sports Betting in Italy
It’s generally thought England were responsible for giving the world the beautiful game but corners of Genoa and Milan say otherwise and proclaim Italy to be the master inventors.
Whether they did or not, there is no bigger sport than football in Italy. Horse Racing, Motorsport and Tennis are often wagered on also but nothing comes remotely close to football and the high proportion of bets placed on Serie A, the Premier domestic league in Italy featuring the likes of Juventus AC Milan, Inter Milan and Roma.
But it’s not all about the big boys. You’ll find the majority of Italian sportsbooks cover Serie B and the lower leagues, as well as the cup competitions such as Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa di Serie C.
Not just fascinated with the game domestically, Italian football lovers are also keen bettors on the major leagues across Europe including the English Premier League, La Liga and the Bundesliga, as well as the UEFA Champions League, a competition renowned for a strong Italian presence since it’s inception.
Italians have been able to have a flutter on Horse Racing for some time, with the National Horse Breeders Enhancement Society (UNIRE) offering markets at racecourses and online years before the laws were relaxed.
However, it seems the once popular sport has lost much interest in the country leaving the Italian horse racing industry to endure some difficult times. You’ll still find markets offered for the major Italian races though, in addition to the popular annual races in the UK, Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand though.
With household names Ferrari and Pirelli at the core of world Motorsport, Italian engine enthusiasts are automatically drawn to Moto GP, where Valentino Rossi is the number one attraction and Formula One, especially the Italian GP in Monza. Despite dwindling interest in FL across Europe, Italian interest remains in good health making it a lucrative market for bookies domestically and outside of Italy.
Even without the presence of a household name in the world of Tennis, popularity in the sport is high within Italy. The Italian Open held in May at Foro Italico in Rome and is ranked one of the most prestigious red clay events after the French Open. Other Grand Slam events - Australian Open, Wimbledon, The US Open running throughout the calendar enables bettors to wager on the sport all year round.
Italian Betting Market
While a large share of the Italian betting market is held by British and world leading betting company Bet365, Italian bookmakers or those originally optimized for Italian players still largely account for the rest; planetwin365 (SKS365), the official betting partner of Serie A club Napoli, Lottomatica, Eurobet, Sisal and Bwin are among the frequently used Italian gambling companies.
However, with the industry open to all, international bookmakers are able to attain a fair share of the pie also. So you have the likes of William Hill, Betfair and Unibet all catering for Italian players making for a fiercely competitive market which can only be a positive for you, the bettor (more competition = more competitive prices and odds) and the market in general with companies pumping money into the Italian market to try and promote themselves and gain a sizeable footing.
Betting Bonuses and Free Bets for Italian players
The aforementioned companies will do their utmost to win over new customers through offering an amass of bonuses and sign up/welcome offers; you may have noted some already whilst navigating your way around this page.
Given the ferocity of the market we’ve picked out some of the best in terms of value. Whilst we recommend the established names we’ve listed, there’s nothing to stop you from signing up to any number of offers from different companies inside and outside of Italy. The regulation and licensing conditions mentioned previously should see your safety online pretty much guaranteed.
The introductory offers are a great way of discovering how a bookmaker does things, especially if you’re new to betting. As much as each betting company looks the same on the surface, they’ll each have their own distinct USP which may or may not appeal to you.
Additionally, you have the opportunity to become accustomed with the ins and outs without risking your own funds first - be sure to keep in mind big sporting events or standout fixtures to take advantage of some of the best promotions.
Finally, as much as offers can, in effect, yield ‘free money’, there are often strings attached with the terms of the offer not always clear. For example, the money won via a free bet may need to be rolled over a certain amount of times before the amount can be withdrawn from your betting purse as cash.
In summary, betting bonuses and welcome offers can offer a great insight, as well as prove very profitable. At the same time, it’s good also to remain vigilant and not get caught out.
FAQ - Online betting in Italy
Can you gamble online in Italy?
Gambling online in Italy is 100% legal. This hasn’t always been the case but amendments made to the legislation have been made to allow online betting sites to make themselves available to Italian bettors.
What does AAMS stand for?
AAMS is the acronym for Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stado which translates to the Autonomous Administration of the State. The AAMS is the official licensing body in Italy and regulates the industry. Betting operators need to meet a number of conditions set out by AAMS before they can a license in the online betting industry in Italy.
Do I pay tax on any winnings?
Fortunately for you, you are not subject to being taxed on any potential money you make. The betting companies are required to pay tax however.