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Italy Debt Crisis: Online Poker Cash Games, Super-Satellite Tournaments Will Help

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
Aug/05/2011
Italy Debt Crisis - Online Poker Cash Games

The introduction of online poker cash games in Italy and government’s allowance of super-satellite tournaments will most certainly help create jobs and tax revenue for the nation, which now accounts for the biggest Internet poker market in all of Europe. 

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PokerStars.it is the 4th largest online poker room in the world (this is just the Italian players for PokerStars).  888.com is now the 5th, with much of the company’s growth attributed to the Italian market and its cash games. 

Prior to last month when cash games were introduced, only tournament poker was allowed on Italian facing online poker rooms.

Italy will benefit enormously from the change in regulation as online poker companies flood the market to pay big money for a gaming license.  Without the license, Web gambling firms cannot target Italian players.  US politicians should pay special attention to what is going on in Italy as the Italians mentality towards legalized online gambling just three years ago was similar to that of what we see in the States now. 

Italy is drowning in debt right now and this was reflected in the volatile movements (mostly downwards) in stock markets across the globe. 

Reuters News Service noted that, “after a selloff of Italian assets that started early in July, the country last month paid the highest rate in 11 years to sell new 10-year paper. The gross yield at auction on a 2021 BTP bond rose to 5.77 percent from 4.94 percent at the end of June.”

In addition to the licensing fees, the Italian government will benefit from the following revenue shares, as noted by GamingTechLaw.com

The gaming duty varies depending on the type of game involved. For instance in case of bingo it is 11% of the turnover, in case of cash games and casino games it will be 20% of the revenues, while in case of skill games (including online poker tournament) it is 3% of the turnover.

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com

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