The term “amount wagered” refers to the total amount of money spent on gambling by individuals. This sum is then divided between the profit made by game providers, namely the Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR), and the players’ win amount. The GGR can also be described as money lost by players. In 2019, national lottery games registered the biggest GGR percentage increase compared to the previous year. Moreover, the number of machines to play video lottery games on increased since 2015, even though the total amount of electronic gambling machines in Italy dropped overall.
This decrease in the number of gambling machines might be due to a shift in interest towards online gambling. If the share of people gambling offline is still much higher than that of online gamblers, in fact, the latter sector is gaining momentum. The lockdown imposed on the country by the Italian government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in March 2020 accelerated this process. Forced to stay at home, Italians resorted to online gambling and the industry saw a remarkable increase in revenue during the first month of isolation. Extending this analysis to the following months provides an even more impressive picture, with online poker tournaments registering the biggest percentage increase in terms of GGR.
The only category of online gambling games that was negatively affected by the lockdown was sports betting. With most professional sports competitions suspended all over the world because of the pandemic, there was simply little to bet on. Therefore, revenue on the sports betting market dropped to zero in April and May 2020. This was a hard hit for the whole gambling industry, as sports betting make up a large amount of the money wagered. Soccer, by far the most popular sport in Italy, was also the game people bet on the most. Many Italians not only like to gamble on soccer games’ results, but they are also very fond of a particular form of soccer betting: Fantasy Soccer. Magic Gazzetta, a popular organizer of Fantasy Football games, was the Italian gambling and betting provider with the highest number of Facebook fans as of October 2020.