Where can we bet securely and which are the leading bookmakers in Italy?
In the table below, you can see our recommendations for the leading online bookmakers where Italian punters can register and play. These betting sites are reputable and with a rich history behind their back, so their positions are definitely deserved.
At one point in history, betting in Italy was heavily tied to the mafia, and was an illegal, underground activity. Nowadays, the Italian government has legalized the pastime in all forms, and punters can safely access bookmakers, both online and offline. Although there are a handful of brick and mortar casinos and bookmakers around the country, the largest area of growth is in the online sector.
Interesting Facts about Betting in Italy
- The annual gambling market in Italy is worth approximately €101 billion
- The first casino in Italy was opened in Venice in 1726
- For a long time, gambling was considered a bad activity to engage in, because it was so heavily tied to the mafia
- Some people believe that bingo and baccarat originated in Italy
- There are only five brick and mortar casinos throughout the whole country
- Over 17 million Italians gamble at least once a year
Gambling Legislation and Laws
Gambling is legal in Italy, although some forms have only been legalized relatively recently. Sports betting has a long legal history, but in 2011, playing poker and other casino games for real became legal, both in brick and mortar establishments, and online. Online slot machines were legalized in 2012 after the Italian government realized how much profit land-based slot machines were generating.
The Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stato (AAMS) is the regulatory body that ensures the laws surrounding gambling are being upheld, and that punters are safe.
Competition between Operators
There is currently no monopoly in Italy when it comes to online vendors. Like many other European countries, Italy was forced to open its online betting market to international providers. The EU found their monopoly to be unjust and infringing on the rights of these overseas bookmakers. This occurred in 2006, and since then, the AAMS has issues licenses to several betting sites that are registered in EU countries, and meet a strict set of requirements. Ultimately though, this has prevented any online monopoly from forming, as there is healthy competition between operators.
Bonuses from Italian Bokmakers
Italian punters are eligible for many different bonuses and promotions from sites that are licensed in Italy. When bettors sign up to a site, they will usually be offered some form of a welcome bonus. These are highly competitive and designed to draw users in, so they can often be somewhat misleading. Although most sites will offer a significant deposit in the form of free bets or spins or a match on the initial deposit made by the user, punters usually need to bet the money a number of times in a certain time frame, before they are even eligible to withdraw any winnings. First-time users should do their research to fully understand the terms and conditions of the welcome bonus before they choose to register and commit.
Bookmakers also offer many different promotions for their existing customers. These are far more varied than the welcome bonus, and frequently changing. Customers should frequently check the promotions pages on betting sites, to see if there are any bonuses associated with their form of gambling, or that they are otherwise eligible for.
Betting Features and Options in the Italian Bookmakers
Due to the increasing competition between bookmakers, there is increasing pressure to provide punters with new and exciting features to make betting more enjoyable and exciting. Some of the features widely available to Italian punters include:
Available Payment Methods
There is a variety of different payment methods that are available for Italian players, that are known to be safe and secure. Most major betting sites will accept Mastercard and Visa debit cards and credit cards, e-wallets such as Neteller, Skrill and PayPal, as well as various cryptocurrencies.
Most deposit options are free and instantaneous. Sometimes there is a processing period with withdrawals. However, this is usually only a few working days, if it is not instantaneous. Punters should remember that most sites will only accept withdrawals using the same form of payment that was made to deposit money.
The currency of Italy is the euro (EUR). Almost all betting sites will accept this as a form of currency to bet on, and this prevents punters from having to pay expensive currency conversion costs.
Mobile Betting in Italy
Mobile betting is one of the largest growing sectors of online betting and changes the way that people bet. Bookmakers have taken advantage of this market interest, and almost all sites offer free mobile apps to download, for Apple, Android and often (but not always) Windows devices. These apps are designed to provide the users with all of the content of the desktop site, but in an easier to use style, so that betting can be done, wherever and whenever they wish.
If punters are betting almost exclusively on mobile apps, they might wish to registers to sites that offer mobile bonuses. There are a number of sites that will offer bonuses for downloading the corresponding mobile app and provide slightly more favourable odds for mobile players.
Online casinos are accessible for Italian punters and have been legalized. Their increasing popularity may be because there are only five land casinos in the country, making it difficult for many people to physically access. Online casinos, on the other hand, are available for everyone. Most betting sites are not specifically online casinos but will offer both sports betting and casino games together, which is convenient for punters who enjoy multiple forms of betting.
Leading Sports for Betting in Italy
Sports betting is more popular than casino betting in Italy, and there are some different crowd favourites. These include:
Football is by far the most popular sport to bet on in the country, and in fact, Italy is the second-largest football betting nation, only behind the United Kingdom. Italians love to bet on international games, but the most popular is Serie A, their largest national championship. Most international sites will cater to this great demand, so punters do not need to worry about missing out.
Italy has its own basketball league that enjoys significant popularity, both online and offline. The Italian Lega is available to bet on extensively in both local and international betting sites. Italians also take great interest in international games, most famously the NBA, which of course are also covered on all major betting sites.
Italy has seen significant success with their national volleyball teams, and this has translated into growing interest from a betting perspective. The male teams especially have greater coverage on most sites, but punters can bet on the sport and a range of different teams on the larger sites. The smaller sites will still offer coverage of the sport, but this is generally less comprehensive, and there are fewer Italian matches to bet on.
Cycling has enjoyed a long popular history in Italy, and many punters continue to look forward to Giro d’Italia, the largest cycling tournament in the country. Bookmakers offer extensive betting on these kinds of local competitions, as well as international ones such as Tour de France, and of course the Olympic cycling events.
The Profile of an Italian Bettor
The offline betting sector is becoming increasingly smaller, with only approximately 20% of gamblers betting in brick and mortar establishments. The rest of the Italian bettors also bet online, or exclusively online. Italian bettors are more likely to engage in sports betting compared to casino betting, although the most popular form of gambling in the country is scratch cards.
While the average Italian bettor is likely to be male, females are currently the fastest-growing demographic, with more and more engaging in the pastime.
Is online gambling legal in Italy?
Yes, online gambling is legal in Italy. There are many different businesses that are licensed to serve the Italian population, and punters should only use these sites. This is because it is still technically illegal for Italians to bet using sites that are not licensed in Italy, and they will not receive government support if anything goes wrong.
Are there any taxes for Italian players on their winnings?
No, players are not taxed on their winnings from gambling. There are taxes for betting vendors, although players do not need to worry about that.
Which are the best football betting websites in Italy?
There are a number of different betting sites that offer extensive betting on football, and it can be difficult for punters to know which ones are the best. As well as all of the other betting sites previously mentioned in this article, Betway is one of the best football betting sites. They offer their services in Italian, and they are a large site with significant range when it comes to different football games and types of bets. Not only that, but they are known to be reputable and are dedicated to ensuring that the data of their clients remains secure, so there is no chance of private information being shared with other parties.
Are there any betting restrictions for players in Italy?
No, there are no restrictions for players in Italy. There are some different legal sites that they can choose from when looking to bet online. All types of online gambling are offered, and many sites offer their services in Italian and accept Italian currency (EUR).
Are bet exchanges legal in Italy?
Yes, betting exchanges such as Betfair are legal for Italian punters to use. These sites allow users to bet against each other, rather than the site, and often odds are more favourable. Punters should only use bet exchanges that are licensed in Italy.
How to find the best betting site in Italy?
There is no single way to find the best betting site; it is subjective and will change for everyone. However, there are key indicators that punters should look out for to ensure that they are getting the best experience possible. Firstly, the site should be legally licensed to offer services to Italian punters. This is an indicator of quality, as only reputable sites are afforded licenses. The site should have an up to date security policy regarding personal data, to avoid any breaches of privacy that can lead to fraud (security information is usually listed at the bottom of the site somewhere).
Then there are a number of factors that come down to personal preference – whether the sites offers Italian language options, whether punters can bet using euros, and what types of betting they offer, and on what markets. Each person has different interests, but the Italian market is wide enough that you can shop around until you find the site that is best for you.
Betting in Italy has come a long way since the market was essentially run and manipulated by the mafia. Nowadays, the government has strict control over everything, ensuring client safety first and foremost.
After the EU forced the Italian government to open the online market up to international bookmakers, punters have seen their options increase drastically. This competition means that sites are always looking to offer new and improved services with competitive odds, things that only benefit the bettor. Many sites operate in Italian and accept the local currency, so it really is easy and convenient for users to play. There are concerns that the tax rates imposed on betting sites are causing many of them to remove themselves from the Italian market; however, currently, there are still more than enough options for punters.