In our latest market spotlight feature, we look at Italy, a rapidly growing market in which we are pioneering exciting new developments across our digital and physical offerings.

With a total addressable market that has more than doubled in size over the past five years, Italy is an immensely exciting region in sports betting and iGaming. 30% of Italians actively bet in some form, staking over €16 billion in 2021. Meanwhile, in the same year, the country’s gross gaming revenue (GGR) was €4.2 billion.

Eurobet, which was originally founded in 1995, is our largest brand in Italy with just under 1000 sports betting stores. In addition to its bricks-and-mortar operations, Eurobet is a major player in the online gaming and betting arena, having originally acquired its online offering in 1999. Combined with our other, digital-only Italian brands – Bwin, Gioco Digitale and Partypoker – we enjoy an 11.9% market share, making us one of the market’s top three operators.

There are 18.5 million active players in Italy, 2.7 million of whom are active digital players. As Italy’s national sport, it will come as no surprise that many of our Italian customers are football crazy. Over 70% of all our Italian sports bets are placed on football, with Serie A being the most popular league.

In perfecting our customer proposition, we have made it our ambition to offer unparalleled access to digital sports betting content and markets, demonstrated by the launch of Bwin.tv, our trailblazing new digital platform in Italy. Bwin.tv is a one-stop-shop where customers can watch football highlights and stream eSports. As part of this exciting new platform, we are pleased to be sponsoring eSerie A and eSerieB, the Italian eFootball first and second divisions, with matches streamed live on Bwin.tv.

We are incredibly excited about the international expansion of our in-house Casino Factory. Previously, our Casino Factory had focused on creating and distributing localised games within Italian markets but, with Entain Italy’s innovative digital team, we now have the ability to create and supply online games to BetMGM and other international markets from this studio.

To encourage customers who are returning to our betting shops we are making substantial investments in our ‘betting corners’ that will see us transform approximately 200 locations across Italy into Eurobet Cafés, which are modern, digital spaces designed to welcome customers and provide a new place to meet and socialise with friends.

As part of this, the in-store customer experience will be improved through the installation of ‘videowalls’, large screens where we are able to display football and virtual events, as well as media from our central content system – for example promotions and adverts overlaid on live matches. Further technology additions will provide a more engaging and dynamic environment as well as more choice of interactive sports and gaming content.

This is all about offering a more distinctive experience to new and existing customers. We want to move from simply offering betting shops to hosting spaces in town centres where people can come to have a good time, which may or may not include having a bet.