If there is one country that was largely responsible for the development of betting online worldwide, it would have to be Italy. The country holds online gambling and betting related activities close to its collective heart, and it was there that fortune telling cards brought over by the Saracen invaders were widely used for gambling hundreds of years ago.
Since then, the country has been instrumental in influencing betting customs and betting related laws of several countries in North America and Europe, as well as the rest of the world.
The Legalities Of Betting Online In Italy
Today, various types of gambling and online betting related activities are legal in Italy, with casino games and horse race betting being some of the more popular pursuits. Betting online in Italy has also been made legal recently, although the road to public acceptance was somewhat rocky, with the Italian government imposing various restrictive measures against all foreign online gambling firms. In fact, the Italian government sought to ban local access to numerous online betting sites, and when attempts to curtail the activities of these sites resulted in no appreciable improvement, the government instead sought to establish their own online poker service.
The move of Italy to liberalize its policies towards betting online is a direct result of pressure from the European Union, which has invoked similar legal actions against, France and Germany. As a result, all restrictions on online poker and other online casino games will be totally lifted in 2010. It is expected that the few sites that currently offer only a limited range of online betting options for Italian players will expand their services in 2010. An example is Ladbrokes, which currently offers only poker. Given the new laws, the company is set to offer everything from blackjack to roulette in the coming years.
Current Online Betting Trends In Italy
Given the recent changes in the local gambling and betting industries in the country, observers expect the Italy’s gambling market to grow by 64% in 2010. The online gambling market is expected to make an even stronger showing, with a 240% growth expected by 2010.
While gambling and betting in Italy has traditionally been a pursuit of the above 40 crowd, recent trends to an increased acceptance of gambling by the younger market. This is due partly to the amendment of the minimum gambling age (which effectively allowed anyone over 18 years old to gamble or place a bet) and the recent legalization of online gambling.
Italian Betting History
Some of the earliest gambling activities in Italy can be traced back to the Saracen invasion in the early Middle Ages, which brought about the introduction of a number of customs–fortune telling among them–into Italian society. The natives then adopted these cards and used them for gambling.
Italy is also responsible for the development of Baccarat, with the game having been played in the country as far back as the late 15th century. The introduction of lottery was soon forthcoming in 1530, and this in turn would lead to the development of bingo a few years later.