Which bookmakers are trusted and where to place bets in Italy?
Which are the most reliable betting websites for Italian players? Find the answer to this question in our chart below. These are the most reputable online betting websites that currently operate on the Italian market.
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Why Choose Online Betting in Italy?
In Italy, gambling has been a deep-seated part of the local culture for millennia, able to trace its roots back to the earliest days of the Roman Empire and perhaps even earlier. Ludus Duodecim Scriptorium, also known as XII scripta, translates to “game of twelve markings” was the predecessor to modern backgammon. It became a quite popular pastime amongst the Roman legionnaires who loved to play and place wagers on the outcome of this game. The earliest known account of XII scripta is a referral in a book called “The Art of Love” (Ovid’s Ars Amatoria) penned somewhere between 1 & 8 AD.
In 1638, at the bidding Venice’s city leaders, Il Ridotto opened in a converted wing of the Palazzo Dandolo to serve as a government-controlled gambling house. Its establishment marked the date of the first legal mercantile casino in the Western civilised world. A game called Basetta soon established itself as Il Ridotto’s most popular gambling activity with it resembling a cross between poker, blackjack, as well as gin rummy. Later faro superseded basetta and gained even greater popularity amongst players in the US.
Sanctioned by the state, Il Ridotto also served as a means whereby the government aimed to control the gambling activities of its citizens. According to Il Ridotto’s original charter, club access remained open to all members of the public, however, due to its formal dress code requirements and high stakes only the nobility could afford to game at its tables. Its dress code made items such as masks and three-cornered hats mandatory for players.
The word “ridotto”, derived from the Italian word “ridurre”, means “make private” or “close off” and at the time mainly referred to a theatre foyer where patrons would visit for refreshments during intermission. In 1774 Il Ridotto closed down which gave rise to a massive increase in the popularity of closed members-only gambling clubs, these became known as casinos.
Gambling Facts at a Glance
The Italian lira (“₤”) served as Italy’s official currency from 1861 until 2002 when the euro replaced it.
According to UN statistics, Italy has a population in excess of 59.2 million people, which ranks it as the 24th most populous nation on earth. Rome, the country’s capital, has the 4th highest number of inhabitants of all cities in the EU.
Italy’s population total represents 2% of the global population, yet the annual gambling spend of its just over 15 million active gamblers accounts for 25% of the yearly global gaming revenue.
The Italian Agency of Custom and Monopoly (Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli) (ADM) incorporates the national licencing and regulatory body Autonomous Administration of State Monopolies (AAMS) (Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stato) and the two combined play a crucial role in licencing, controlling, and organising gambling and its related online and offline industries in Italy.
Licensed gambling products
A huge number of acts and decrees came into force of the decades to exact a strict level of control over all local gambling formats, and they all combine to make provision for licencing the following products for use in both online and land-based venues:
Types of operators
The Italian betting scene bears a striking resemblance to the licensing systems employed by Denmark and the UK which also have clearly identified regulatory authorities and large numbers of licensed operators. Italy’s regulatory system provides for licensing operators of land-based and online gambling enterprises including casino games, sports betting, horse betting, poker, lottery, bingo, and scratch cards.
Is Online Betting Legal in Italy?
In 2009 the Italian state, after facing infringement proceedings brought against it by the EC, made extensive revisions to its laws regulating gambling activities. The new legislation came into effect in 2010, allowing offshore gambling brands to apply for licencing that would allow them to legally market, present, and operate real-money gambling venues within Italy’s borders for both land-based and online varieties. Interested gaming operators should apply to the Italian licencing authority Autonomous Administration of State Monopolies (AAMS) (Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stato) and will only qualify for licencing approval upon meeting a lengthy list of strict criteria.
Are there restrictions on Italian players by some bookmakers?
Italian punters are some of the most fortunate bettors in the world. Local regulatory requirements have proven highly protective, and still, they remain entirely free to choose to play at any online venue they desire. Yet, if they are prepared to take the risk, they may even bet at a place not holding a valid AAMS licence which is willing to accept players from Italy. However, the current gambling act considers such actions illegal, yet it has never prosecuted any person for the transgression.
Aside from some minor payment restrictions on a few specific banking methods, such as MyBank that requires more regular and stricter verification procedures, Italian players have the online gambling world at their feet. Notably, most of Italy’s bookmakers do not accept cryptocurrencies mainly due to an exceptionally low local demand for this payment format.
How to Choose the Right Online Betting Site
Italy’s sports bettors and casino enthusiasts have access to an unparalleled range of online gambling entertainment, which is fantastic, but this type of freedom arrives with its own set of potential risks and pitfalls. To reduce the risk, it is advisable to keep to the better-known international brands, however, to ensure your chosen venue/s meets, performs, and delivers everything you desire it is essential you ask and investigate the following factors:
- do they hold a licence allowing them to operate in your region/country legally?
- are their games and systems subject to regular audits, performed by industry approved specialist independent third-party firms well-known for their stringent testing and certification procedures, reputable options include eCOGRA, BMM Testlabs, or iTech Labs?
- can you verify their reputation for honesty and trustworthiness, as well as the safety and security standards of their websites?
- do they offer an acceptable number of banking methods that allows you the capacity to fund your account in a method most convenient to you?
- how big is their selection of sports, betting markets & how competitive are their pricing and odds?
- do they offer you a comprehensive assortment of essential betting tools such as a betslip editor and bet builder, a Cash-out option, live streaming video of all live events, a good variety of In-Play sports and events?
Leading Online Bookmakers in Italy
Italy’s punter-friendly gambling market provides legal access to some of the online industry’s best-licenced betting sites operated by a number of the world’s top online bookies. In general, the player experience delivered by Italian bookmakers will meet and surpass the scrutiny and expectations of even the most discerning punter. This is due to the stringent requirements set by local gambling laws as well as the large number of tightly regulated regions wherein European bookmakers continually vie with their peers for a slice of the highly competitive market.
This betting operator remains the world’s largest bet exchange and has an established reputation for fairness combined with exceptional reliability. Both of which Betfair has continuously built on since its launch in 1999. It stays one of the best choices for experienced punters the world over by offering a great range of betting products and a massive range of betting markets. It is also known for pioneering many of the excellent services all online bookmakers offer today. These include Cash out, Live Streaming, and numerous others.
The bookmaker has long established itself as one of the major players in the industry and now counted as one of the premier online bookmaking brands in the world today. Statistically, its average payout percentage hovers around the 95.5% mark, which is an exceptional achievement. The company, William Hill contributes its initial success to the hard work it invested in establishing itself as one of the UK’s most popular bookmakers.
This brand retains its crown as the worlds largest and most successful online bookmaker. Founded by Denise Coates in 2000, Bet365 currently provides its services in more than 200 countries to over 19 million customers and distinguishes itself as one of the largest privately-held enterprises in the UK. The brand offers an extensive range of sports markets and betting options to cover a hugely impressive number of events. These are combined with highly competitive odds and a great video streaming service.
After an initial series of stumbles, the company altered its image in the market by changing its strategy to re-establish itself as a reliable, fair betting partner. Its recent track record of sustained success proves Betway managed to turn the tide and as it continues to focus on building a reputation amongst punters from all over the globe as one of the best bookmakers in the online industry. This after refocusing their attention to only provide services in regulated markets, improving its product, and becoming active members of key industry organisations such as ESSA and IBAS.
Bonuses for Italian Players
Local gamblers have access to many of the online industry’s best bookmakers who all operate legally in Italy’s jurisdictional boundaries. Moreover, all operators remain quite aware of the attraction held by a generous offer of free money to extend wagering budgets and steepen the learning curve for newbies to this exciting form of online entertainment. This ensures Italy’s bettors always have a vast range of the bookmaking world’s best promotional bonuses and special offers to choose from.
Players newly signing up at any of these leading sportsbook brands in our discussion above have a prime choice of numerous valuable welcoming sign up offers. These options include first bet and first deposit percentage matching bonus offers mostly paid out in the form of Free Bets, while long-standing members have an even greater variety of Free Bet offers to keep them busy for months. These normally come paid as a mix of Free Bets and real Cash money. Offers aimed at keeping existing members entertained and happy comprise of Boosted Prices, Enhanced ACCAs, Daily & Weekly or Weekday Reload Bonuses, Special Price Clubs, and an amazingly large variety of other innovative free money offers.
The recent relaxation seen in Italy’s legislation pertaining to gambling regulation places the country at the forefront of the world’s regulated gambling nations. In terms of turnover second only to the UK, Italy has since become Europe’s largest gambling market with the country’s large number of punters keeping online bookmaking firmly at the forefront of the gambling entertainment industry. This is greatly due to the extreme popularity of football in the country in combination with the Italian cultural propensity for wagering. However, sports and horse race betting come close in the local popularity stakes. The sports Italy most love wagering on are as follows in order of their respective popularity:
- Motor Sports
Are Online Casinos Popular in Italy?
In 2017 the combined Italian gambling industry generated a total gross gambling revenue of €9.9 billion, which represents a period of staggering growth when compared to 2016s €7.5 billion. Of this market revenue, with casino gaming revenue at 40% contributing the most major portion, which essentially means Italians are highly enthusiastic about sports betting but absolutely love and adore online casino entertainment.
Trivia/Did you know that…
- both Baccarat and Bingo have their origins in Italy, with the two games popularly played in Italy from the 15th century onwards
- the word “casino” itself originates from the Italian language, early 17th-century members-only clubs became commonly referred to as casinos
- Italy’s legal gambling age is 18+
- Italian law considers it illegal to bet at an unlicensed venue. However, the state has never prosecuted anyone for doing so
- Italian residents have the highest gambling spend per capita in Europe
- irrespective of age and gender 25% of all Italians gamble weekly
Available Mobile Apps
All the major online operators in the Italian market feature world-class mobile access solutions, but what are the best betting apps that work in Italy? The answer is quite simple, and its validity was born by market statistics. After capturing a remarkable 31.6% in sports betting turnover and a 17.4% share of the Italian total sports betting revenues during 2017, Bet365 dominates the local market completely. Considering not only the exceedingly good quality of its online sportsbook product but the matching quality of its mobile access methods, it becomes easier to understand the online phenomenon that is Bet365.
While all four of the major players in the Italian bookmaking market offer similarly impressive mobile products, the massive sports range and extensive variety of betting markets available via a slick, stylish, yet highly readable mobile interface sets Bet365 apart from its peers. It’s dedicated mobile apps, and mobile portal offers all the options and sports available via its full-sized website. This includes easy navigation, quick placing of bets, a massive range of finance methods, and many others like live-streaming video covering all in-play betting events.
Supported Payment Methods
Once again, Italy’s players have a massive range of banking options available to select from. It encompasses all the popular internationally trusted brands leaving them spoilt for choice as far as selecting a convenient method to fund their sportsbook accounts. Their selection of options covers credit/debit cards such as Maestro, Visa Electron, Mastercard, and Visa, to name just a few. While indirect payment options offer the safety and stability of POLi and PayPal, Bank Transfers, PostePay alongside e-Wallets NETeller and Skrill, plus several hundred other brands.
Is there a tax on winnings?
Despite a recent tax hike affecting licenced operators in Italy, winnings that its residents derive from gambling remain completely tax-free.
As an Italian resident, can I place bets at an unlicensed online bookmaker?
Yes, you can wager with online bookmakers that do not hold a valid AAMS sanctioned operator’s licence. Although such activities are frowned up local gambling law does not specifically forbid it.
I want to sign up with another Italy-licenced online bookmaker, should I go with one of the local brands or perhaps just go with Bet365?
The answer is quite difficult to formulate since it is an entirely personal issue. Each person operates according to a specific set of requirements that remain most important to him or herself. This makes providing advice without knowing you far better rather tricky. However, quite simply, you cannot go wrong with Bet365.
When I place sports bets, should I remain with websites ending in .it, or should I consider going with the .com version?
Both websites feature pretty much the same near-identical range of sports and betting options, which means you may want to keep checking both.
Which of the Italian-facing online bookmakers offers a great welcome bonus?
They all offer similar value additive welcome bonuses. Prior to making your choice, it is advisable you check which one offers the best bonus value since they change on a regular basis.
Will an Italian online bookmaker sell or share my personal or financial details with unauthorised third parties?
No, absolutely not unless instructed to via court order to aid in a police investigation. Online bookmakers remain subject to a stringent data protection law-set as per EU regulation and doing so will expose themselves to prosecution and a possible hefty fine.
From what age may I start gambling in Italy?
Italian and EU regulation demands online casinos may only grant memberships to individuals over the age of 18.
How long do international bookmakers take before they settle a bet?
It may differ slightly between the different bookmakers, but generally major international operators commit to settling bets within 24 hours of the conclusion of an event. This is subject to the availability of the event’s official results.
At the conclusion of our assessment of the Italian bookmaking market, it became clearly evident that local bettors live with one of the most advanced and punter-friendly regulatory systems. It provides excellent protection and a solid line of recourse for disputes and goes as far as it can insofar as protecting players from their own habits. It also leaves local players with access to many of the online world’s best punter-sportsbook experiences via an exhaustive range of sports markets, betting options and tools. This provides them with a truly modern sports betting experience that is slightly behind the UK, a country already world-renowned for the carefully considered actions of its forward-thinking lawmakers.