Industry Q1 2020 figures published by Italy’s customs and monopolies agency (ADM) have depicted the grim reality of COVID-19 damages on Italian betting incumbents.
Recording just 10 days of wagering activity during March, Italian betting recorded a near collapse across its retail and betting channels.
ADM figures reveal that March online betting revenues (GGR) decreased to circa €49 million, representing a 43% decline against February month-on-month comparatives.
Yet, online betting declines seem mild when compared to retail damages, as Italian betting shops recorded a total GGR of just €26 million (-73%) during March trading.
With Italy enforcing Europe’s harshest lockdown measures, retail stakeholders will be braced for further horror shows as incumbents absorb a likely two-month period with no active revenues.
Retail incumbents have been issued a slight reprieve, as the Italian government will allow tobacconists to switch-on betting terminals on 11 May, adhering to in-store social distancing measures.
Meanwhile, despite online operators adjusting their sportsbook offerings during lockdown, Italian consumers failed to engage with the ‘alternative markets’ of Russian table tennis, Belarus and Nicaraguan football and esports.
Market turnover for esports was recorded at an average of €5,000 per match, whilst the Belarus Premier League recorded around €300,000 turnover per game.
The dire circumstances leave Italian bookmakers hoping that the government maintains its promise to allow Serie A football to return on 18 May.
March ADM figures would show a marked increase in online gambling spend (casino and poker), which grew by 33% to €120 million (February 2020: €90m).
A breakdown of segments branded online casino games as the ‘industry’s lifeline‘, recording €94 million of all online gambling revenues.
Tracking its licensed incumbents, the ADM maintained its previous impact assessment for the industry, in which it anticipates a combined loss of €750m – split at €450m for the Italian state and €300 for its incumbents.