Poker is legal in Italy, and poker players are able to play in state licensed poker rooms legally online since 2011. The current regulation looks like it’s about to change in 2016 and the massive overhaul in the country’s poker regulation could very well kill the economy in the country completely in the very near future. A 700 million euro bidding war has already started for the right to hold the Italian national lottery and a 100+ new online gaming licenses are expected, but is the country headed in the right direction?
Italy poker history
Poker has a long and prosperous history in the country, with many Italian poker players at the top of the global earners board in the game. Italians really love to gamble and it shows in their poker, with the general mentality of playing as aggressively as the swedes, and winning on crazy plays and big bluffs.
Italy is famous for being one of the first countries to regulate poker, but the poker laws in the country are very strict, games are ring fenced so that players can play only with others in the country, and the taxes for operators are high.
Italy new poker regulation
Currently, in order to get a license for operating online poker in Italy, the operator must already hold a license for the same activity in another European country (goodbye small business!), a bank insurance of 1.5 million euro and pay a tax of 20% on all fixed odds betting (sport betting, virtuals, casino) and a 3% tax on all skill based betting.
The new regulation will apply a 6 year license fee, to the tune of 200,00 euro, for operators and increase the tax, and raise the taxes to 20% of the operator’s net. The complete absence of attention to player needs like lower taxes and an end to ring-fencing in addition to the massive chunk taken from the operators, which will of course roll forward to the players, may very well put the growing poker economy in the country in danger.
play poker in Italy
Poker is everywhere in Italy, whether its in local clubs, casinos, or online poker sites. Italians really love to gamble so make sure to hunt for the best table and then sit back and start raking in the money.