In Italy today there are many forms of legal gambling, and this includes various online and offline gambling activities such as sports betting, lotteries, poker and casino games. Italy is regarded as having a fairly liberal gambling market and players in the country currently have access to some of the best online gambling sites in the world.
Italians can gamble at home-grown online casinos, poker rooms and sports betting sites that are licensed in the country and also at ones that operate from outside of Italian borders. Unfortunately, many of the best Italian online casinos are the ones that licensed abroad and don’t operate from within the country, but the good news is that there’s no law to stop you from playing at these foreign gambling sites.
Gambling History in Italy
Gambling in Italy dates back hundreds of years, even as far back as Roman times. If you fast forward several centuries to the 1600s, you will find the very first land-based casino being opened and gambling has been popular among all of the social classes ever since, but up until 2006, all gambling activities in Italy were prohibited. It wasn’t until 2006 when several major changes started occurring.
Italy changed its tough stance (under pressure from the EU) and eventually approved the very first online casinos that would operate under a government monopoly. At the time, games of chance were still prohibited though, and Italians could only play games of skill. In 2009, the government cancelled the requirement that online casinos applying for a license to operate in the country should be based within the country, which led to a big increase in foreign operators coming in and aiming their business towards the Italian market.
Finally in 2011 the government also changed its stance on games of chance and made these games legal at online casinos, which meant that Italian residents now had access to a full suite of games at hundreds of world-class gambling sites and all within a fully regulated market. The Italian gambling market today is regarded as being one of the most liberal in the world.
Italy Gambling & Online Gambling Laws
In Italy almost all forms of gambling have been legal since 2011, and any operator that’s based in the European Economic Area may apply for a license with the Italian government to open a gambling site. Italians can gamble at licensed land-based gambling venues and also at hundreds of home-grown online casinos, as well as at foreign online casinos and other similar gambling sites and the minimum legal age to gamble in Italy is 18.
The main authority that ensures online gambling in Italy is safe and regulated (both online and at land-based venues) is the Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stato (AAMS). This authority oversees the issuing of gambling licenses to operators, and it also approves any new online gambling legislation in the country.
Taxes from gambling are known for being fairly high in Italy for the operators, but luckily players don’t have to worry about paying any taxes on their winnings. Many of today’s best fully licensed Italian online casinos, sports betting sites and poker sites still tend to be foreign-owned and are based in either the UK or in one of several other major European licensing jurisdictions such as Malta or Gibraltar.
Online Casino Benefits to Players from Italy
One of the main benefits to players from Italy is that today they have access to hundreds of the best online gambling sites in the world. They are free to sign up to, and they are controlled by reputable operators with solid reputations. You can play at an Italian online casino either on desktop or on mobile and either instantly in your web browser or from within a perfectly secure download client and you now have access to thousands of games from some of the industry’ best online casino software providers (some of which include Microgaming, Playtech and NetEnt).
Italian players can benefit from being able to play in their local currency of Euros, and they can also benefit from being able to choose from a variety of popular Italian online payment options. Frequent real cash players can reap the rewards from some extremely attractive loyalty and VIP programs and can take advantage of some amazing online casino bonuses on a regular basis. The Italian language is generally supported at today’s best Italian gambling sites, and the 24-hour player support is generally toll-free and also available in Italian, plus there are lots of other benefits that Italian players can look forward to today.
FAQ Useful to Players from Italy
Can I gamble at an online casino or another similar gambling site that’s not licensed in Italy?
Yes. Today you can legally gamble at hundreds of Italian licensed online gambling sites and also at hundreds of other gambling sites that are licensed and operate from outside of Italy?
Can I trust online casinos and other gambling sites that aren’t licensed in Italy?
Yes. Italian gambling sites aren’t regarded as being the best in the world, which is why lots of players tend to play at various other top-rated online casinos that are licensed either in the United Kingdom, in Gibraltar or Malta. These sites are controlled by trusted operators with sold backgrounds and proven track records.
How do I deposit & withdraw at online gambling sites?
You can easily deposit and withdraw using various credit & debit cards, prepaid cards, e-wallets and bank transfers, plus several other popular Italian online payment options are also widely accepted.
What if I need to contact the casino? How do I get in touch?
Today’s best Italian gambling sites tend to provide toll-free telephone, email and live chat support which is available 24/7. The Italian language is usually supported at the websites (which means that the text can be displayed in Italian), and the player support is also often provided in the Italian language.
How do I know that my money and personal details are in safe hands?
Your personal details and funds are always protected by the latest online security measures such as 256-bit SSL encryption technology.
Am I breaking the law by playing at foreign-owned online casinos that are not licensed in Italy?
No. There is no current Italian law that says you are breaking in the law by playing at a foreign licensed/controlled gambling site.
Online Gambling Highlights in Italy
- Italian players can legally gamble at hundreds of fully licensed online casinos (both home-grown and foreign gambling sites)
- Claim a guaranteed new player welcome bonus when signing up and then get rewarded for your play with some fantastic loyalty programs and VIP programs
- Enjoy playing either on desktop or mobile and either instantly in your web browser or from within a perfectly secure download client on 1,000’s of world-class online casino games
- Euros are accepted at pretty much every Italian gambling site, and you can deposit & withdraw at these sites using one of several popular Italian online payment options
- Plenty of life-changing progressive jackpots to play for and many of the individual jackpots climb well above €1,000,000
- Players in Italy have access to live dealer games from Evolution Gaming and NetEnt and access to other hundreds of other online casino games from award-winning online casino software providers such as Playtech, Microgaming, NetEnt and others
- These websites can often be displayed in Italian, and the localized player support is generally available 24/7. Most major Italian gambling sites today provide live chat services and toll-free telephone support which is also available in the Italian language too
Problem Gambling Help in Italy
Italy recently launched a new self-exclusion system which is similar to the UK’s GAMSTOP self-exclusion program, and this has helped problem players exclude themselves from gambling websites either temporarily (for six months) or permanently. There are also plenty of accredited problem gambling organizations such as GambleAware and Gamcare that Italian problem gamblers can turn to and some of the other most notable organizations include Gambling Therapy and Gamblers Anonymous.
These trusted organizations and many others just like them tend to have counsellors that are trained to deal with problem gamblers. They also provide free live support (telephone and email), and some of them even have support groups that you can visit at land-based venues up and down the country. You can also visit the websites of these organizations to find various other self-help tools such as online forums about problem gambling, questionnaires, faqs and other useful articles.