12/21/09 – The online division of UK gambling group Ladbrokes reports that it has secured a licence from the Italian regulator AAMS to operate a dedicated poker tournament service in Italy.
The group plans to launch the service early in January 2010, following the path of its sibling sportsbook service, which started operating in Italy last year.With a liberalising trend in the market, Ladbrokes hopes to additionally apply for licences to offer online poker cash games, bingo and casino action into the market in 2010.
“We are committed to expanding the international reach of our online business and Italy is an excellent regulated market opportunity," said chief executive Chris Bell this week. "We hope that further positive changes in regulations in Italy will allow us to further expand our product range by launching cash games in poker, as well as bingo and casino gaming." Ladbrokes currently has some 35 000 online gamblers on its Italian books, a spokesman revealed.
Industry consulting company H2 Gambling Capital estimates that the Italian licensed poker business will be worth Euro 280 million in revenues by next year.
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