|Online gambling giant 888.com’s new Italian sportsbook has gone live with analysts estimating that the sports betting site could bring in five to ten million dollars in revenues next year.|
The Gibraltar-licensed site first hinted at its intention to become involved in the Italian market at last month’s annual European Interactive Gaming Congress and Expo (EiG) in Barcelona and stated that any deal with a provider would be for more than just one year.
'It will boost revenues but it will also build customer numbers so we are in a good position next year when skill games we are strong in, like poker, are allowed,' said Gigi Levi, Chief Executive Officer for 888.com.
Levy added that the Italian market would be one of the firm's big areas of focus over the next two years as, under the influence of European lawmakers, the nation is gradually opening up its gambling market. It had originally opposed online betting but has now stated that it will allow games of skill.
Companies are waiting to discover what will fall under the Italian’s ‘skill game’ definition as opposed to its ‘game of chance’ with many analysts putting their money on poker tournaments being approved with a ban kept on one-off games. The Government of Italy is expected to finalise firm definitions before the end of the year.