Italian cash poker stabilises as Stars, Microgame dominate

Italy’s cash poker market showed signs of stabilisation in May following the substantial declines of previous months, according to the latest dataset from Italian regulator AAMS.

Gross gaming revenue (GGR) generated by the segregated player pool in May 2012 fell less than 1% month-over-month to €18m, compared to the 26% cumulative fall during the preceding three months.

However, May’s figure was still the smallest full monthly return from the regulated ring game market since it launched last July. The tournament poker market contracted 13.5% month-over-month to €12.5m from €14.4m, 55% down year-on-year due to its continued cannibalisation by other games and in part to the traditional seasonal slowdown leading into summer.

PokerStars and Microgame’s People’s Poker Network inevitably retained their positions as leading room and network in regulated Italian poker.

In cash games, Stars and Microgame remained neck and neck, each commanding a share of between 26% and 27% of total revenue from the market. Lottomatica consolidated its position as the second largest room behind PokerStars, increasing its share from 13.5% to 14.2%, well ahead of third placed GiocoDigitale, owned by In the network stakes, Playtech slipped further behind Microgame, its share of total ring game revenue falling to approximately 13% from 14%, and (including Ongame) to 12.2% from 12.7%, with Ongame by itself (excluding sites on the separate PartyPoker platform) accounting for 11.3% (see below for further detail).

In tournament poker, global poker leader PokerStars accounted for a dominant 37.5% of revenue generated by the market in May, although this represented a slight fall on the 39% it held in April, with the slack apparently being taken up by Microgame. The skins on the People’s Poker Network, that also hosts WSOP-branded tournaments in Italy under a JV with Caesars Interactive, increased their share of tournament entry fees from 20.4% from 22.6%, according to calculations by Casino Choice based on AAMS data., owner of the Ongame network,, and, also raised its share from 14.5% to 15.5% (14.7% for Ongame ex PartyPoker sites) putting it well ahead of the member sites on iPoker owner Playtech’s network, with 12.7%.

Italy online poker market – May 2012 (% of GGR)*

Cash games – leading rooms – 26.3% (26%)
Lottomatica/ – 14.2% (13.5%)
Gioco – 6.2% (6.3%) – 4.4% (4.4%) – 3.4% (3.8%)

Cash games – leading networks**

Microgame/People’s Poker Network – 26.8% (26.4%)
Playtech – (including Snai, Sisal, Titan, Eurobet, Cogetech and others) – 13.1% (14%) (including Ongame sites) – 12.2% (12.7%) / Ongame (ex PartyPoker sites) – 11.3%
Gioco Online Italia – 4.6% (4.4%)

Tournaments – leading rooms/networks** – 37.5% (39%)
Microgame/People’s Network – 22.6% (20.4%) (including Ongame sites) – 15.5% (14.5%) / Ongame (ex PartyPoker sites) – 14.7%
Playtech – (including Snai, Sisal, Titan, Eurobet, Cogetech and others) – 12.7% (12.7%)
Lottomatica/ – 11.2% (11.7%)

*April 2012 figures in brackets
** Calculations by Casino Choice based on AAMS data

Casino Choice journalist

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