The online poker market in Italy has been in decline for a number of years due to stringent laws and tight regulations. Most online poker players in Italy do not find the freedom they require and hence prefer to play at illegal poker websites or at websites that are not regulated.
This has posed a considerable challenge for the gaming industry in Italy and no solution has been found to arrest the declining numbers on the online poker industry. Recent reports confirm that the Italian poker market fell by 11.7% when compared to the same period in 2013. The market has generated a total revenue of close to €50 million.
While the online revenue is relatively small, PokerStars has successfully managed to capture a significant percentage of the online poker industry in Italy. Agimeg confirms that during the month of August, PokerStars revenue from its Italian operations brought in €34.7 million which is nearly 70% of the total Italian market revenue.
PokerStars is the biggest online poker website in the world and has also turned out to be the number one site that online poker players in Italy trust. The brand and the variety of games offered by PokerStars has helped the company to quickly build a loyal and growing fan base in Italy, despite the overall decline. July’s stats showed that PokerStars had captured only 61% of the market share in Italy but grew by 9% within a month.
Claudio Poggi, a poker journalist in Italy said
PokerStars is perceived as the industry leader, and that’s why everyone goes to play there. PokerStars also has a media exposure that other competitors do not have. Some of the other rooms have tried to fill the gap, but I think the difference between them and PokerStars was simply too big
PokerStars has invested a lot in its marketing and advertising campaigns. The company launched Spin and Gos, a new lottery style sit-and-gos during the last week of August and expects the campaign to bring in even more online poker players in Italy. PokerStars is carefully monitoring the flow of traffic in Italy and modifying its marketing campaigns to ensure that it continues to grow at the rapid pace it has experienced these past few months.
Poggi believes that PokerStars will not have any trouble in dominating the market for a long time as there are currently no competitors who have the budget or games that can pose a challenge to PokerStars.