Top 10 Italian Poker Sites 2023 : For Italian Players
Italy is one of the friendliest places in Europe to play poker! Even if you are accustomed to playing in a country wherein there is no legal impediment to gambling, you will surely appreciate the freedom and welcoming attitude to poker and poker players in the country. In this article, we take a look at what playing poker is like in Italy.
During the 17th century, the first gambling house opened its doors in Italy, and the government decided to regulate gambling by simply confining the act of gambling to these places which were eventually named casinos. It was in Italy where the term ‘casinos’ originated from.
Italy has an extremely rich history when it comes to gambling, stretching all the way back to the Roman Empire. Back in the day, Roman soldiers used to play a forerunner of backgammon.
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Italy is also renowned for the invention of baccarat, as well as a forerunner for bingo. One thing is certain, Italians love to gamble, and it remains this way to this very day. The gambling laws in Italy make a sharp distinction between games based purely on luck and games based on skill.
There is more tolerance for placing wagers on games of skill, such as poker, as opposed to games of luck, such as slot machines in Italy. The primary reason behind this is that games of chance tend to exploit players more, whereas games of skill allow the opportunity to have an influence on the outcome of the game.
Nowadays, there are casinos, card rooms, and various other types of gambling and betting establishments all over Italy. Although underground clubs offering gambling games are abundant, it is only in state-approved gambling establishments where patrons can indulge in their favorite games without being in violation of local laws.
Is poker legal in Italy?
Poker and other games of skill are legal in Italy, although that hasn’t always been the case.
Before 2007, local laws pertaining to gambling were actually quite restrictive.
But new legislation resulted in the legalization of skill-based games, including poker among other card games. Even games of chance have since been legitimized, although they are more tightly regulated than games involving some element of skill.
Laws And Regulations In Italy
Before the online poker regulation in Italy, Italian poker players did as they pleased.
They could register with any online poker room they see fit and enjoy an assortment of cash games, tournaments, and promotions with no hassles or concerns.
However, the Italian government started to realise the amount of money being spent on online poker and decided they wanted a piece of the action too. Obviously, this was something that couldn’t be achieved by the government as all the money was flowing out of the country.
Italy was the first country to tax poker revenue successfully. To do so, the country had to regulate online gambling within the country and did so in 2007. In fact, Italy was the first country to do to so.The passage of the Finance Act of 2007 essentially resulted in the legalization of poker and other skill-based card games, albeit subject to regulation. In 2011, the laws were amended to allow the playing of online poker for real money.
Gambling legislation in Italy comprises the following:
Primary legislation – This includes Civil Code provisions and other laws.
Secondary legislation – This involves regulations issued by Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli (ADM), which is the national gaming authority.
The regulations stated that poker was required to be confined to poker tournaments only. The original Italian licensed online poker rooms adhered to this regulation and were something that online poker players in Italy did not enjoy at all, especially those that enjoyed playing cash games.
This continued until 2011 when Italian lawmakers decided to improve on the current laws and expand the permitted games to include cash games as well. The newly-improved rules also extended to several other games of skill, including sports betting which is extremely popular in the country of Italy. This provided the legal framework we now have in Italy where players can enjoy online poker at several regulated and legal poker sites from around the world.
Like most of the states that fall under the European Union, Italy has an online gambling market that is fenced. This means players in Italy has to play on poker networks that are locally regulated. These poker sites are completely unavailable to players residing in other countries. Apart from this, the regulations in Italy are pretty poker-friendly.
In 2001, a new law was passed that stated Agenzia delle dogane e dei Monopoli, or ADM for short, is the sole regulator for all forms of gambling in Italy. All forms of gambling online are considered legal if the online operator obtains a signed business agreement or Italian gambling license. Regulations regarding online poker cash games and tournaments are listed by the ADM Director Decree which dates back to 2011.
According to the ADM decree of 2011, all Italian-facing online poker rooms are free to provide all cash games, MTT, and STT options to the residence of Italy. ADM also doesn’t force online poker rooms to use geolocation plugins. Regulations instead forbid online poker rooms to offer their games to anyone that doesn’t have an Italian fiscal code. In addition, Italian ISP’s need to block gambling-related offshore sites. When it comes to taxation, players are required to pay a single tax fee of 20% on all sums which, when it comes to online poker, essentially refers to tournament and rake fees.
Land-based gambling and online gambling are regulated separately in Italy. Even the games under these two categories are regulated independently of each other. Grouped under “land-based gambling” are land-based casinos, slot machines, sports betting, bingo, and lotto. Under “online gambling” are sports betting, pool betting, slots and other casino games, bingo, online lotteries, and games of skill, include online poker.
Italy’s Governing Body For Poker
The primary regulatory body for the gambling industry in Italy is the Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli (ADM).
The Italian national gaming authority, the ADM is organized in different departments, each responsible for a specific set of gambling products. There is also a department tasked with monitoring gambling services and addressing illegal gambling.
The main tasks of ADM include:
- Regulation of gambling games
- Enforcement of regulatory provisions
- Issuance of licenses
- Supervision of licensee compliance and performance
- Tax collection
- Curbing illegal gambling
Legal Age To Gamble In Italy
Casinos and card rooms in Italy allow entry only to players 18 years and older.
Most online casinos that cater to Italian players have similar age restrictions.
What Should You Look for in an Online Italian Poker Site?
Now that you have a better understanding of the current regulations and laws surrounding online poker in Italy, it’s time to locate a reputable online poker room that will suit all your requirements and needs. You will be pleased to know that you don’t have to spend hours to find the perfect online poker destination as we’ve already done it for you. On our site, you will find the best experience online when it comes to poker as our dedicated poker experts have reviewed several world-class poker rooms, so you don’t have to.
We assess several important factors when it comes to reviewing the best online poker rooms to ensure you enjoy a red-carpet experience each time you wish to play a few rounds of Texas Hold’em, Omaha, or even 7 Card Stud. Our team of poker experts look at everything from the website layout and the user-interface to ensure you can easily find what you are looking for, evaluate the promotions and bonuses on offer to make sure they are well worth your time and money as well as wagering requirements to ensure they are achievable.
We also browse through the selection of poker cash games, the range of poker tournaments and freerolls, and the variety of payment options offered by each site. Thereafter, we test the quality of the customer service centre to ensure they are professional, friendly, and always willing to help as well as check the languages supported on the site and the currencies available on each of them. Therefore, you can rest assured that any of the online poker sites we offer for Italian players are safe, secure, trustworthy, reliable, and more importantly, memorable.
Popular Poker Tournaments Hosted In Italy
Players from Italy have several tournaments to look forward to during the course of a single year. Some of the highest profile tournaments have been held in the country, including events by PokerStars and the World Series of Poker (WSOP).
PokerStars has hosted the Italian Poker Tour (IPT) in Italy. In March 2017, WSOP hosted the International Circuit tournament in the country. More recently, in January 2018, PokerStars hosted the Italian Poker Open at Casino Campione in Campione d’Italia.
Casino Campione is actually a popular venue where many high profile poker events are held. Along with Casino de la Vallée S.P.A. in Saint Vincent, these are the most renowned poker rooms in Italy, both having hosted several IPT events.
Online, there are three sites that have prominently championed the cause of Italian poker: PokerStars.it, partypoker, and OnGame.it.
PokerStars.it is known for having had as many as 50,000 players online at the same time. Home to some of the biggest names in the Italian poker circuit–Dario Minieri, Luca Pagano, and Pier Paolo Fabretti among them–the site regularly holds real money tournaments.
Party Poker has had as many as 10,000 players online, playing all at once. Considered the largest online poker network in Italy, it offers a variety of tournaments under license by the Italian government.
OnGame.it is the second largest online poker network in the country. It is also licensed to offer poker tournaments and real money games.
Italian Poker Players To Watch Out For
Italy hasn’t exactly been storming the list of top-ranked players in the world, but that’s because relatively few players had taken up the game prior to the global boom. Heading the pack of early masters were Jeffrey Lisandro, Marco Traniello, and Max Pescatori.
With the advent of the World Series of Poker, players such as Dario Minieri and Filippo Candio began to achieve global recognition. There are also players (Roberto Romanello being one example) that have made waves in other countries, but that have Italian roots.
Here are some of the more famous Italian poker players in the global arena:
One of the most exciting players to have represented Italy in the international circuit, Minieri won the WSOP bracelet in 2008.
He has also earned nearly $2 million throughout his career, and made it to the EPT Final Tables three times.
Has won no less than five WSOP Bracelets, three of them in three separate Stud tournaments in 2009.
Lisandro was also the WSOP Player of the Year in 2009. Altogether, he has earned $4.75 million in various tournaments over the years.
One of the most respected players in Italy and abroad, Pagano has played a major role in highlighting the abilities of Italian poker players on the world stage.
Having earned close to $2 million in all his years of playing tournaments, he has also bagged the IPT San Remo Championship, made it into the SIX EPT Final tables, and is a member of Team PokerStars Pro.
Banking Options for Italian Poker Players
Those that wish to play online poker from Italy have a number of banking options available for depositing funds and withdrawing winnings. These include:
- Credit cards and debit cards
- Bank wire transfer
- Prepaid vouchers
Currencies Used In Italian Poker Rooms
Because Italy has already adopted the Euro as its official currency, this is what most casinos and poker rooms will accept. However, many gambling establishments will accept US dollars as well.
The roots of gambling in Italy go far and deep. In the largely permissive environment that has characterized the country’s attitude toward gambling over the centuries, poker has had the opportunity to grow and develop. As it stands, poker is likely to remain a significant part of Italian culture for a long time to come.
FAQs when playing poker in Italy
Can I legally play online poker in Italy?
Yes. Online poker has been regulated since 2009 and is legal for Italian players. However, due to online operator taxes paid in Italy, a higher rake percentage is applied to offset those costs. Currently, operators are taxed at 20% and therefore increased the rake to 5.5% versus 5% that other countries are charged.
Can I claim promotions and bonuses from online poker sites in Italy?
Yes. All online poker sites available in Italy are secure, safe, and offer some of the best promotions and bonuses in the industry. Registering with any of those we advertise will entitle you to sign-up bonuses and additional promotions, such as poker tournaments, cashback offers, and more.
Can I play online poker in Italy on my mobile device?
Yes. Most online poker rooms provide the opportunity to download a dedicated mobile app, or you can visit the online poker room by utilising a web browser on your tablet or smartphone. This will provide access to all tournaments, cash games, promotions, and the ability to contact support directly.
Can I play against other international players?
No. Due to regulations and laws surrounding online poker in Italy, Italian players are only permitted to play against other Italian poker players. The government of Italy decided to fence off all international operators from offering their services to players in Italy and therefore offshore players are not permitted
Is online poker software safe?
Yes, as long as the poker site in question is licensing by a respected licensing authority. Those licensed are required under their license to operate at the highest standards of integrity. This applies to the software in use, player deposits, withdrawals, player support and back-end operations.
Is the money I deposit with a poker site safe?
Again this will depend on if you are playing with a license and regulated poker site. Licensed poker sites are required to maintain separate bank accounts for player deposits. They also are required to maintain a certain amount in separate accounts to ensure withdrawals can be paid without delay.
Are poker games online rigged?
No. Online poker software is extensively tested to ensure all game results are created using a random number generating software. In addition, the software is regularly tested to ensure it is random and results can be viewed at the poker site or by request same via support.
How do poker bonuses work?
Poker bonuses, as a general rule, are released based on the amount you contribute to the rake in cash games or through poker tournament buy-in fees. Many will release bonuses at a rate of $5 per 100 points earned. Points are accumulated through cash game participation and buy-in fees.
If I get disconnected, will I be able to rejoin the table or tournament I was playing in?
Yes. When disconnected, the poker room will add additional time to the clock to allow you to reconnect. Once reconnected, you will be able to rejoin the game, whether a cash table or tournament. If unable to reconnect, you will be sat out until such time as you do.