Italian regulator bans totems
Italian regulator Amministrazione Autonoma Monopoli di Stato (AAMS) has banned public gaming terminals. This news surely hits Italian gambling company Microgame. The so-called ‘totems’ are situated in coffeehouses and other public places. These public gaming terminals provide access to e-gaming websites. The majority of those websites are linked with the Microgame platform.
The totems generate 30% of Italian poker revenues. The decision by the Italian regulator is assumed to be inspired by complaints from competing poker operators. These operators have invested substantially in the Italian poker market. They are having difficulties with the harsh competition. Several well-established firms like Microgame dominate the Italian market.
Online poker companies
The new ban benefits large online poker companies that have launched Italian poker networks. Pokerstars, Bwin and Microgaming are some of those online poker giants. Without a doubt, it provides companies that enter this profitable market support.
Italian poker market
Monitor Clipper Partners owns Microgame and they are probably not pleased with the news. The private equity investment firm acquired Microgame at the end of 2009. The flourishing Italian poker market inspired the acquisition. Italy’s poker industry is considered as Europe’s largest poker market. Analysts estimate that the Italian poker business covers 22% of the European poker market at the end of 2010.
Online sports betting
Microgame achieved poker revenues of €248 million in the first three months of this year. The Italian gambling company has a market share of 30% in the Italian poker market. Bwin holds 17%, Pokerstars nearly 18% and Lottomatica 11.2%. Microgame posted first quarter revenues of €130.1 million on online sports betting.