Italy has a long history of gambling dating back to the Roman Empire, and probably even before that point in history. Today, gambling is rife in Italy, and many residents look towards sports betting and casino play as means of profit or entertainment.
As an Italian resident, you can visit only 5 legally-licensed land casinos in the country. However, there is over a 100 legal online casinos at your disposal licensed by the country’s Autonomous Administration of State Monopolies. This means that Italians have the luxury of choosing between dozens of top-quality online casinos in their domestic language. What’s more, Italian online casinos offer some of the best games on the market, brought on by market leading gaming providers.
As you read on, you will learn more about the Italian gambling scene, the types of payment options for online casinos, the variety of games, and the exact legal situation in the country. If you are looking to get started right away, just have a look at our list of Italian-licensed online casinos. Every casino we feature has been reviewed from head to toe by our expert team, meaning that all you have to do is make a choice, sign-up, deposit, and play.
The advent of online gambling was quickly followed by a rise of smartphones and subsequently – mobile gaming. From 2010 onwards, mobile online gambling has been on an exponential rise. Fortunately, the online gambling industry has always been quick to adapt to changes, and mobile casinos quickly became a common occurrence.
As the number of mobile gamers continues to rise in Italy, nowadays every notable online casino is also available in a mobile variant accessible via web browser or through a standalone app. The best mobile casinos for Italian players must have a smooth-functioning mobile version, while also allowing players access to mobile deposits, withdrawals and customer support via live chat. Of course, the number of mobile games must also be at a satisfactory level. Italy’s main operators all have over 75% 4G network coverage across the country, meaning the majority of Italians can enjoy mobile online casinos through fast and stable data connections.
The country boasts 58%+ smartphone penetration, meaning more than half of Italians own a smartphone, or approximately 35,000,000 residents – to be more precise. The country’s most popular smartphone devices are Apple products such as iPhone models X, 6, 6S, 7 and 8. Samsung Galaxy S8 is also a popular choice among Android lovers, as are many affordable Huawei models, such as the P20, P10 Lite, P9 Lite and P8 Lite. As an Italian online gamer, you can make your choice between dozens of top-quality mobile online casinos, many of which are prominently featured on our web page.
As with any country boasting a long, rich history, gambling has been present in Italian society for centuries. In fact, first records date back to the Roman Empire, when Roman legionnaires enjoyed Ludus Duodecim Scriptorum, the basis of modern backgammon.
Many other games have originated out of Italy, though it is hard to say for certain whether they were influenced by other cultures. It is said that Baccarat was invented in Italy somewhere during the 15th century. During the same period, Italians enjoyed a game titled Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia, a game of chance with striking resemblance to bingo, which is why it is said that bingo was also invented in Italy. In 1638, in the city of Venice, the country’s first gambling house was opened. It was called Ridotto, where games like biribi and bassetta were both enjoyed. However, as the house edge in these games was too high, and only higher class citizens could realistically afford to play, Ridotto was banned in 1774. This only resulted in the rise of illegal gambling venues, called “casinos”. Thus, the word casino originates from Italy as well.
In modern times, Italian criminal law generally regards gambling as an illegal activity. However, sports betting and lottery are considered games of skill rather than games of chance, and are legal in many forms across the country. Today’s Italian gambling laws are surprising liberal, and even certain land casinos have been allowed to acquire a license. Yet, only 5 land casinos are present on Italian soil.
The minimum gambling age is 18, and players are required to verify their identity with their personal ID upon entry into the casino. The casinos boast many table games in the likes of Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat and Poker.
In terms of online gambling, the market was greatly liberalized in 2006, when the European Commission found that Italy’s anti-gambling regulations violated the European Union’s 98/34/EC Directive related to provisions of information in fields of technical regulations. Because of this, in 2010, Italy made important amendments to their gambling laws, removing a total of 621 blacklisted gambling websites, and allowing foreign online gambling operators to serve Italian customers, as long as they had acquired a proper license. In 2011, another breakthrough was made, and new regulation allowed the legal play of poker and casino games for real money. Previously, in 2007, only poker tournaments had been legalized.
In contrast to many other European countries, Italy’s general gambling and online gambling markets are a notch above the rest, and we can expect even more progress on the future. Most certainly, the Italian government will look to capitalize on the tax benefits from the rise of online gambling, and an even more lenient legislation looks to be on the horizon.
In many cases, yes, casinos and even online casinos are legal in Italy. However, betting on off-shore online casinos licensed by the likes of the Malta Gaming Authority, Cyprus, Gibraltar, the UK Gambling Commission, and others, is illegal. Online casinos that aim to legally serve Italian customers must acquire a license by the Autonomous Administration of State Monopolies (AASM), Italy’s official gambling and licensing authority.
These licenses cover many forms of online gambling, such as:
Operators who seek to acquire a license by the AAMS, must manage games on European soil and boast a turnover of at least EUR€1.5 million over the past two fiscal years. They must also pay a one-time fee of €350,000 to the AAMS for “administration, supervision and technical management”.
The strictest rule of the AAMS is that the total number of Italian online gambling licenses cannot surpass 200, which puts a damper on many new online casinos looking to venture into the Italian market. Does this mean that you can’t gamble at sites not licensed by the AAMS? While this is technically illegal, no individual has been prosecuted for such an activity. Without exception, the Italian government only prosecutes operators, rather than players.
In the future, we hope to see further market liberalization and loosening of the AAMS’ strict licensing criteria, mainly by removing the limit of 200 total licenses. We are positive that things are headed in the right direction, especially when we consider how popular online gambling is becoming worldwide.
Italy has been the source of several popular gambling games enjoyed worldwide, yet the country does not hold too many preferences to one or two gambling games. Many players have varying preferences, and the general public enjoys many forms of gambling.
Bingo and lottery have been historically popular in the country, and remain as such to this day.Betting on sports is also prominent, especially since football is very popular in the country. Casino games in the likes of Blackjack, Roulette and Poker are prominently featured by Italian casinos and preferred by many gambling enthusiasts.
All of these forms of gambling can also be enjoyed online. Of course, Italians also love slot machines, and video slots in particular. Online casinos licensed by the AAMS have the liberty of offering Italian residents many forms of casino games and betting in general:
The landmark decision by Italian authorities to form the AAMS led to hundreds of leading online casino brands acquiring a license of serving Italian customers. This means that your choices are virtually limitless, and as a beginner to the world of online gambling, you may be lost on where to play. This is why we’re here to help with our casino reviews. For this purpose, we will also go through the most important aspects we look at when reviewing Italian online casinos, and give you a brief overview of how these casinos generally fare on the market.
Security is most likely the primary concern for every newcomer to online gambling, even in this day and age. Simply put, we are not yet used to “blindly” putting our money in the hands of unknown entities. However, in the age of the Internet, there is no chance a shady online casino makes it to see the light of day, as information spreads like wildfire, and these casinos are quickly blacklisted by the community.
That’s as far as the community is concerned, but what should really put your fears to rest is the AAMS, Italy’s body for licensing and regulating online casinos. This state-run branch employs strict standards of fair play on all casino operators who aim to serve Italian customers, meaning it is virtually impossible for you to be scammed out of your money.
As Italian online casinos are licensed within the country itself, you also have the right for criminal prosecution in the case of wrongful treatment. More reason to put your worries to rest is the fact that the AAMS has the legal basis of handing out heavy monetary fines to any operator disobeying their strict terms on fair play and security. In extreme cases, operators may have their license removed, which they had to pay 350,000 Euros to acquire in the first place.
Naturally, all Italian online casinos are available in Italian, and offer the EUR as a primary currency. However, many of the casinos marketed to Italians are also available in English and other common European languages, if for some reason you desire to play in a different language.
The golden standard for all successful modern online casinos is live chat support, which all Italian casinos prominently feature. Live chat support means players can rest assured that their gaming sessions can go as smoothly as possible. Typically, when a customer requests help via live chat, response times are a minute or two. What’s more, support teams at Italian online casinos are professional, friendly and eager to help new and existing players alike. Many Italian casinos also boast customer support, whereas e-mail support is the bare minimum, with response times of 12 to 24 hours.
The repertoire of software providers is an excellent indicator of the type of gaming quality you can expect at any online casino. Italian online casinos are often powered by industry-bar setters in the likes of Net Entertainment, Yggdrasil, Play N GO, Betsoft, and Microgaming.
This means you can expect hundreds of well-paying titles that are the peak of quality of modern casino gaming in all aspects – aesthetics, payout potential and variety. Our review section always puts a strong emphasis on the gaming selection, highlighting all the good and bad aspects, to give you a clear picture on exactly what you can expect in terms of the games on offer.
Slot Machines are by far the most popular game among online casino gamers. They come in several forms: Classic Slots, Video Slots and Progressive Jackpots. Classic Slot variants feature 3-reel structures, and they remind of the games being played decades ago. Still, these nostalgia-inducing slot machines hold up well to this day thanks to their simple mechanics and great payout potential.
Table Games in the likes of Blackjack, Roulette, Craps, Baccarat and Poker are a staple inclusion of every Italian online casino. What’s more, besides the basic versions of these popular games, you can also come across dozens of unique game variants that can only be met in the online spheres of gambling.
Video Poker is a popular choice to many online gamblers, and many Italian online casinos prominently feature games such as Deuces Wild, Jacks or Better, Joker Poker, Aces and Eights, and similar titles.
The Live Casino is without a doubt the most immersive gaming experience one can attain while playing online. Italian online casinos, often powered by Evolution Gaming, offer live dealer tables of unparalleled quality. Powered by high-definition streams, professional and engaging table hosts, and a myriad of quality of life features, live dealer tables are something that must be experienced by every game of skill enthusiast.
Bonuses are often the number one factor players are drawn to when deciding which new casino to join, and rightfully so. Given the casino meets industry requirements of safety, the bonus will often be the difference maker for most gamers. Italian online casinos will often double your initial bankroll via the welcome bonus, but may also offer you reoccurring promotions in the form of free spins and cash back bonuses. Occasionally, you can also relish the highly sought-after no deposit bonus as well.
The welcome bonus is often the most valuable bonus you can claim at any online casino. This bonus will typically match your first, or first few deposits by 100% up to €100, effectively doubling your bankroll. In many cases, a casino will triple your bankroll and even offer much larger bonus sums, such as €500. However, pay in mind the wagering requirements when claiming a bonus. A €500 bonus may seem good in theory, but wagering it may prove an drawn-out process, even with fair wagering requirements.
Free Spins bonuses are pretty self-explanatory, and represent Free Games on a certain slot game of group of slot games that are later converted into bonus cash. Money won from Free Spins will need to be wagered just like any other bonus, with some exceptions. Free Spins are often paired with Welcome Bonus cash offers, or presented as standalone promotions during key events of the year.
No Deposit Bonuses are a rarity, but still available from time to time to Italian players. These bonuses require no deposit on the player’s part, meaning it is a completely risk free chance of winning money. Naturally, no deposit bonuses have strict rules in place, such as cashout limits (typically set at €100) and higher-than-usual wagering requirements.
No, personal gambling winnings are not taxable in Italy. The Italian government’s fiscal plan for 2020 proposes a 12% tax rate on all personal gambling winnings under €500. However, this is yet to take effect, and it is unknown whether it will take effect at all, therefore Italian residents are not liable to paying any taxes for the time being. In terms of operators, online casinos are liable to 25% tax of their GGR (Gross Gaming Revenue), online sports betting companies must pay 24% of their GGR, whereas land-based facilities are liable to a 20% tax rate of their GGR.
Absolutely. With the Euro being the primary currency of the European Union and all European online casinos, Italian players will have no trouble using their domestic currency at the best online casinos around.
It is perfectly safe and legal to gamble at any Italian online casinos licensed by the Italian Autonomous Administration of the State Monopolies (AASM). The country holds strict gambling regulations in place and you can rest assured that you will be playing at one of the most trustworthy online casinos in the world.
Yes. Many gaming providers offer a “Play For Fun” option of their casino games. This is a great way of familiarizing yourself with a game before playing it for real money. Games in fun mode are identical to their real money counterparts, and there are no time limits to how much you can play. In some cases, you will need to create a casino account to play for free, but no deposits are required.
Absolutely, all Italian online casinos welcome newcomers with generous bonuses, starting with the welcome bonus. As a player, you can also expect free spins bonuses, cash back offers and various promotions throughout the year.
Italian online casinos rarely charge fees for deposits and withdrawals. Instead, this will depend on your payment method of choice. Credit and Debit Card providers only incur minor fees if currency conversion is involved. E-wallets charge minimal transaction fees that are generally between 1% to 3% of your transaction amount. If withdrawing through Bank Transfer, you can anticipate higher fixed fees, therefore it’s best to avoid this payment option.
As per standard online gambling security regulations, all online casino players are required to verify their identity prior to requesting a withdrawal. This is standard procedure in the online casino world, and is usually completed by sending a photo or scan of your personal ID alongside a photo or scan of a utility bill no older than 3 months. The verification process takes a few days, which is why we recommend you initiate it as soon as you create a casino account. This way, your withdrawals will be processed as quickly as possible.
Once again, this depends on your payment method. Credit and Debit Card withdrawals, as well as Bank Transfer payouts, take the longest to process. Your winnings through these methods will usually take 3 to 7 business days to fully process. In contrast, e-wallet payouts rarely take longer than 24 hours. In many cases, you will be paid out instantly or in a few hours.
Italian players have the benefit of choosing between a myriad of payment options, including credit and debit cards, e-wallets and prepaid cards. The standard payment methods available to most Europeans are all at Italian players’ disposal. This includes VISA, MasterCard, Maestro, Neteller, PayPal, Skrill, Paysafecard, Trustly. You can also take advantage of some Italian-exclusive payment options such as PostePay or Bancomat.
We always recommend the use of e-wallets due to their ease of use and speed of transactions. You can also request a prepaid card from Neteller and Skrill and directly withdraw your cash via ATM with minimal fees involved. Alternatively, linking your bank account to your e-wallet provider is also an option. As means of deposit, Paysafecard is also an excellent, cost-efficient option, as all you have to do is purchase a physical card from one of the thousands points of sale across the country.