Figures released by Italy’s gaming regulator show that as VLT play results grow, those of the online gaming sector are declining.
VLTs produced revenue of €989 million in April, up 7 percent on March. One reason for the increase is the greater number of VLTs available for play as operators open new venues.
In contrast, for online gaming, April continued a trend of shrinking revenue. The sector generated combined revenue of €377.27 million, down 14.3 percent in April 2010. The result was a sharp turnaround from the previous year, when April online revenue jumped 36 percent on that of 2009.
Weather may be a contributing factor to the rise in VLTs at the expense of i-gaming.
Online gaming revenue peaked at €470 million in January 2011. The trend over the last three years has been for results to be higher in winter, dip as summer weather arrives, and then climb again in fall and winter. However, this year the decline in revenue started in February and has continued.
Poker tournaments, classified as “skill games,” accounted for 63.9 percent of online gaming revenue. Sports betting followed at 28.4 percent, with bingo a distant third at 4.7 percent.
The next chance for growth in online revenue will come this summer, when poker cash games finally will be made available to players.