Italy’s gambling culture dates back to the days of the Roman Empire. Centuries later, the country boasts one of the largest gaming and wagering markets in all of Europe. Let us walk you through Italian gambling laws and how they apply to online betting and real money casino sites.
Online gambling laws in Italy
Until 2006, only the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) and the National Horse Breeders Enhancement Society (UNIRE) were allowed to operate wagering services within Italy’s borders. More than 600 betting sites were blacklisted in contravention of EU regulations, which led to a European Commission investigation and subsequent infringement proceedings.
That brought about some significant changes to the country’s gambling legislation. Since 2010, the Autonomous Administration of State Monopolies (AAMS) has issued online gambling licences to more than 100 offshore casino sites, lottery operators and sports betting services. Licences are only issued to candidates that are based in EU nations and boast proven track records for security, product quality and financial viability.
Those law changes have transformed Italy from a no-go zone into one of the world’s most profitable online gambling markets. Figures for 2016 showed a total revenue intake of €1.026 billion from remote gaming and wagering, which puts Italy second only to the United Kingdom on the European league ladder.
Italian sports betting sites
Dozens of reputable online bookmakers offer their services to Italian gamblers. Each of the sites below is easy to use and hits the high notes when it comes to value odds, market depth, banking options, online security and customer service.
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Sport and racing options
The best betting sites have thousands of match markets, futures options and special bets in play every day of the week. Open the tabs below to find out more.
- Poor attendances and lack of funding have seen Italy’s horse racing industry fall on hard times in recent years. Nevertheless, online bookies run markets for the major Italian races as well as meets in the UK, France, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Asia.
- Football is without doubt the most popular sport in Italy. Serie A ranks among Europe’s most prestigious domestic leagues and draws big money from all over the world, but Italian punters can also bet on La Liga, the EPL, the Champions League, the World Cup and hundreds more competitions worldwide.
- As the home of Ferrari, Pirelli and two Formula One races, Italy is the beating heart of world motorsports. Bookies do a roaring trade during the Italian GP, the San Marino GP and throughout the F1 Championship, while the Moto GP series and rally cars also draw plenty of interest.
- Tennis enjoys a strong year-round following. The Italian Open is widely considered the most prestigious clay-court event after the French Open, while Italy’s female stars have won the Fed Cup four times since 2006. The Australian Open, US Open and Wimbledon are also major tennis betting events.
- There is great diversity in Italy’s sporting culture. Cycling is hugely popular, as are basketball and volleyball. Water sports and athletics enjoy strong participation rates, while rugby union is still going strong in the north of the country.
Leading bookmakers run markets for all of those sports and plenty more besides. They include:
- American football
- Australian football
- Gaelic football
- Ice hockey
- Mixed martial arts
- Table tennis
- Winter sports
Best Italian casino sites
There are several licensed real money casino sites that accept players from Italy. We at BettingPlanet.com only recommend operators that meet the highest industry standards for quality, usability, performance, security and fairness.
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Online casino games
The best online casinos have hundreds of real money games for instant play on PC, Mac and mobile. Open the tabs below to find out more.
- Online casinos stock an enormous range of entertaining online slots from leading software developers such as Microgaming. These run the gamut from classic three-reel designs to advanced video slots loaded with free spins, interactive bonus features and massive progressive jackpots.
- Baccarat is thought to have originated in Italy, while some theorists claim blackjack was first played by the Romans. Whatever the truth, Italian casino sites offer multiple versions of 21, punto banco, European roulette, and common dice games such as craps and sic bo.
- Those who prefer the relaxed pace and intimate atmosphere of a real-life gambling house will enjoy live dealer casino games. Hand-dealt blackjack, baccarat and roulette games are streamed direct to your screen in real time, offering a VIP experience for anyone with a few Euros and a solid internet connection.
- The best online casinos cover all the classics and offer a range of casual games you won’t find at land-based gambling houses. These include:
- Arcade games
- Caribbean stud poker
- Casino hold’em poker
- Casino war
- Instant scratch cards
- Lottery games
- Pai gow poker
- Skill games
- Three card poker
- Video poker
- Virtual racing games
Banking options at Italian betting sites
Online bookmakers and casino sites support a number of secure payment methods for Euros, British pounds, US dollars and dozens more currencies. Open the tabs below to find out which banking options are most suitable for your deposit and withdrawal needs.
- Every reputable betting site accepts MasterCard and Visa transactions. Deposits are processed in moments so you can start gambling straight away, while many sites also support fast withdrawals.
- Web wallets such as Neteller and Skrill allow you to make instant payments online without have to give your banking details to any vendors. Most e-wallet accounts come free of charge, although certain transaction fees may apply.
- Whereas standard bank transfers can take several days to clear, instant banking services deliver exactly what they promise. Deposits with Citadel Direct are available at most Italian gambling sites.
- Prepaid money solutions are ideal for gamblers who want to play over the web without expanding their online footprint. Paysafecard vouchers can be purchased in-store at dozens of retailers all over Italy.
- The traditional bank transfer is still the safest, most reliable way to move large sums of money. Payments can take up to five business days to clear, but the lack of transaction limits makes this a popular solution for high rollers.