Is sports betting legal in Italy

Sports betting is today a popular source of not only entertainment, but also income – many users are professionally engaged in betting and receive a good income from this. However, before betting on sports in a particular country, you need to find out the laws that regulate the activity in the field of betting. Many countries have completely different approaches.

For example, in Europe, online sports betting has been rapidly developing for a long time, and in Latin America it is still at the stage of legalizing bookmakers. In addition, it is interesting to know the positions of different countries regarding taxes, prohibitions and restrictions, so in this review we will consider European betting on the example of Italy – we will find out what features betting companies have in this country and whether betting in physical betting shops and on online betting sites is legal.

The betting business in Italy today is considered one of the most profitable. Many Italian bettors consider betting income as their main income because sports betting brings them good money from casino games, poker games and other activities. Interestingly, in Italy, all tax deductions received from online gambling market and sports betting industry go to support the Italian Olympic Movement.

According to statistics, the level of interest of people in sports betting markets in Italy is not inferior to the level of interest in the UK. Most of the fans closely follow football competitions, and 2/3 of the adult population gambles. It is interesting to note that the profit of the English betting market exceeds the profit of the Italian market by only 1.5 times, and the average Italian earns much less than the Englishman.

Pressure from various factors

The state is to some extent interested in sports betting, because this market provides about 5% of the country’s GDP. Despite this, the state is under pressure from various factors, so it cannot fully support bettors. Among the external factors influencing the sphere of betting, one can name, for example, the Catholic Church, which has a great weight in society and a great influence on Italy as a whole. As you know, the church categorically speaks out against all types of gambling, so some difficulties arise.

In addition, there is another important external factor – the Italian mafia and Italian criminal law, which still controls football. For example, in the 2000s, there was a high-profile scandal that exposed corruption and match-fixing in football. And despite the fact that the perpetrators of that incident have long been punished, this story still appears on the Internet from time to time, and information about Italian authorities and new contractual games in Italy flickers on social networks.

Control of online gambling

The State aims to control the process of online gambling and protect the integrity of sports in Italy. Now betting activities in the country are strictly controlled by the AAMS regulator under the Customs Service. In order to obtain a bookmaker’s license, a company must have a good experience in the field of gambling, as well as prove the possibility of high-quality work and be located in the European Union. In addition, the company is obliged to provide security and confidentiality of personal data to all users.

The Italian betting market is of interest to many bookmakers today, so some companies have licenses to operate in Italy, for example, Bet365, William Hill, Unibet, Bwin, Bet-at-Home and some other companies.

Gambling tax for betting services

Since 2016, Italian government has introduced new taxation rules for Italian bookmakers and betting sites in Italy. According to the old rules, companies had to pay from 2% to 5% of their total turnover, but today they are required to pay a fixed 22% of income. Many market participants are not happy with this factor, but companies still have to come to terms with this fact. More information about sports betting, Italian betting sites, online sportsbooks, Italian gambling industry, wagering requirements, foreign gambling operators and Italian gambling market you may find online.

Advertising ban

In 2018, Italy passed a law banning all bookmaker advertising on television, radio, public places and the Internet. This had a negative impact on all betting companies, because many of them lost part of their audience. According to some reports, Italian football clubs suffered losses from 100 to 700 million euros, as they had contracts with betting companies. In addition, the financial losses of sports organizations mean that fans will no longer be able to watch many matches for free. Some companies have completely left the market – for example, the Betfair betting exchange.

Historical facts

It is interesting to note that a strict ban on gambling in Italy existed only once – during the reign of Mussolini. Having come to power in 1923, Benito Mussolini immediately banned all gambling in the country. At that moment, all gambling houses were urgently closed. However, such a strict restriction could not eradicate the love of Italians for betting – they continued to play, they just began to do it underground. A little later, the ruler had to give in to society a little and open four casinos that are still operating.

Betting in Italy today

Many people know that Italians are devoted fans of sports betting, especially football. The development of the online betting industry has led to an increase in the number of users several times over. In addition, the news about the introduction of a flat annual tax of 22% also led to an increase in betting company players. This allowed the bookmaker to increase profits. Today many betting shops allow users to use live betting, different gambling activities, skill games tournament, take part in sporting events, skill games, bet in horse racing, use online poker, online horse racing, slot machines, free bets, online casinos.

As mentioned earlier, today the income from betting on Italy betting sites is partially used to support the country’s Olympic movement. Most bookmakers in the Italian market are from Europe. The famous English company Bet365 occupies a third of the Italian market, and Eurobet, registered in the British Isles, is slightly less. Local bookmakers are not so popular yet, but their development is quite stable. Thus, the Italian betting company Sisal was the sponsor of the Roma club for two seasons in a row.


As it became known from this review, betting activity in Italy today is legal, and being a bookmaker on gambling venues in this country is quite profitable. Firstly, getting a license is not very difficult, and secondly, there is a fixed tax in Italy, which allows bookmakers to make good profits, unlike France or Spain and other European countries, where too high taxes do not allow companies to earn much. In addition, there are many sports fans in Italy, which means that betting companies in this country will always have many customers. Thus, betting in Italy is a good and legal way of earning money for both players and betting companies.