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Finding a reliable casino to play on can be a tough task, especially if there are many to choose from, as is the case with players from Italy. The wide selection of casinos available to Italian users means it's important to know what to look for before making a deposit.
This is where this page can help, by showing you how to find the best Italian casino for you. The Casino Guru team has put together a rating and review system covering each casino on our database, which you can navigate by using a series of on-page filters. You can also find out about gambling laws in Italy and how they could affect you as a player.
Read on to find out about:
Gambling and Italy share a long history stretching back to Roman times, when legionnaires played an ancient version of backgammon to pass the time when off-duty. Some say Baccarat's origins lie in 15th century Italy, while even the word 'casino' is Italian, meaning a small house, and named after the places where dancing, drinking and gambling took place during the 19th century.
Betting has traditionally been seen as an illicit practice, and the government has often imposed severe restrictions on it. When the famous Venetian gambling house Il Ridotto was closed down in 1774, gambling went underground, fuelling its reputation as an immoral activity.
Note: All forms of gambling were illegal in Italy until the 20th century, when the country started to allow certain betting practices, although only games that relied on skill rather than chance. The state set up the Autonomous Administration of State Monopolies (AAMS) which had the power to grant licenses and issue fines to entities who fell foul of the strict regulation.
In 2006, possibly recognizing the financial potential of the industry, the government reformed its gambling law. It legalized real-money skill games and betting exchanges and creating a new license which allowed foreign operators to trade in the country, subject to certain criteria. The move was an attempt to shake off a reputation for hostility towards the practise and embrace a regulated gambling environment.
2007 saw the legalization of poker games, such as Texas Hold 'Em, but only those played in a tournament. Other varieties remained illegal. The Comunitaria decree in 2011 continued in a similar vein when it allowed regulated cash poker games and, crucially, casino games. It also recognized gambling as a fully legal activity through taxation on casino profits, and obliged operators to pay 90% of wagered money back to players in the form of winnings.
The reforms mean that Italian Gambling law is seen as one of the most modern and competitive in the EU, coming a long way from the strict prohibition of the past.
Italy's internet gambling market allows foreign and domestic operators to offer betting games in line with the country's legislation. Like land-based gambling, it benefitted from the reforms of 2006 to 2011, when the government began to allow EU entities to operate in Italy. Many argue that this was down to the European Commission starting infringement proceedings against Italy, stating that such prohibitive laws were actually illegal, but it's likely that the government would have made the reforms anyway.
Like bricks-and-mortar venues, online operators must obtain a license from AAMS, the government authority. These cover pretty much every game you can think of, including skill games, games of chance, sports betting and bingo. Some might consider the license terms to be pretty strict, with entities having to show a turnover of $1.5 million over the previous two years, and to pay AAMS a hefty fee to administer the license. There's also a limit of 120 licenses available, at the time of writing.
While these high barriers of entry exclude many smaller operators, it's fairly standard among other nations, so it would be unfair to single Italy out as particularly strict in this sense. Also, licensed casinos there tend to treat players fairly, which is one of the most important aspects of online gambling.
That said, we can't always be 100% sure that casinos will always treat their customers well, which is why it's a good idea to check out each site's review and rating on this page. We also encourage you to do your own research on the site to support this.
Note: Online gambling is growing in popularity around the world, and Italy is no different. Keep an eye on this page to check out the latest casinos for Italian players and read on to find out how to locate the best one for you.
Casino Guru aims to help players find reliable online casinos to play on; ones they can be confident will treat them well and offer a wide selection of games. For a casino to appear on this page in the first place, it must accept players from Italy and allow them to do what they want with their money, whether it be playing games of chance, or deposit and withdraw funds.
Our team assesses each casino on its individual merits and rates them according to certain factors, including fairness and its ability to handle complaints. You can use the filters on this page to find the highest-scoring sites, as well as the latest ones on the database.
To start with, you can see the best casinos for Italian players, according to our system. Just select the 'Recommended' tab to draw those up. The 'Newly opened' tab, meanwhile, gives you those new sites on the block: these haven't been around long enough to build a firm reputation, but you could benefit from some promotions and discounts as they try and build a customer base. The 'Big Brands' tab lets you see the most famous casinos available to Italian players, while the 'All' tab will give you the complete list.
Remember, you can refine these lists by using the advanced filters on the page. These include the 'Payment Method' option, so you can see which Italy-friendly casinos allow your desired method. To find casinos that accept PayPal or Mastercard deposits, for example, just tick the relevant boxes.
Note: For anything that we don't cover on this page, the How to choose an online casino article will take you through every element of the casino-hunting process. Read this to get fully clued-up and improve your chances of finding that perfect casino.