During the SBC Digital Italy conference’s session dedicated to the online gambling sector in the country, experts who have considerable experience in this vertical have provided their opinion on its future development.
The speakers discussed the hottest news about the gambling industry in Italy and told attendees how local operators adapted to current conditions.
State of online gambling during the pandemic
During the discussion, the experts raised the most interesting questions about the Italian online gambling market in the period of lockdown and after it. Natalie Berenato, Head of Online Marketing at Olybet Italia, pointed to the fact that operators had been more prepared for the second wave of the pandemic because they had known more about cross-selling and effective strategies under such conditions by that time. Marco Castaldo from Microgame added that the iGaming sector had seen the explosion in October – the number of customers had grown by 48%.
However, while the online casino vertical was thriving, the land-based sector was suffering from lockdown and long-time closures. Alessandro Allara, Chief Digital Officer, Gamenet Group, answering the question about the relevance of slot halls shutdown, noted that the pandemic had brought a 60% drop in the retail market, in comparison to the increase in the online vertical by 55%. The lack of land-based entertainment led to a surge in online gaming, and digital operators benefited from the closure of gambling halls to some extent.
Alessandro Graziosi, Digital Director at SNAITECH S.p.A, provided an interesting insight that the value of accounts created during the first wave was really higher than those registered before the lockdown. He said that, in the online betting market, the productivity of new online accounts had been by 60% bigger in comparison to the period before the pandemic.
Multi-channel strategy shift is future of Italian iGaming
The conference participants considered another crucial topic – the future of Italian iGaming. They have discussed the potential for its development and whether now is its best time to rise. Marco Castaldo provided some information about the background of the digital casino sector in the country, saying that its penetration was historically low – only 9.5%. Furthermore, considerable regulatory pressure on the retail sector before the pandemic decreased the supply of land-based gambling, and it gave more opportunities to iGaming. Italian operators started to open their studios within the last 3-4 years, which led to the organic growth of the online vertical.
However, it was growing steadily due to usual drivers, such as technology development, for example. In addition to this, the pandemic made operators leverage multi-channel strategy. The expert has emphasized that this strategy will help gambling companies in future development. According to him, the growth will continue, and the industry shift will cause acceleration. Marco Castaldo has also said that a slight drop is possible because the majority of customers who have switched to online gaming during the lockdown will return to land-based venues, but some of them will remain with digital gambling.
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