Ladbrokes to Launch Online Poker in Italy

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As one of the first European regulated gambling markets, the Italian market has attracted many global players aiming to take a piece of the business. Poker Stars, Party Gaming and Bwin are just a few of the big names targeting the lucrative and growing market. 

Now, a new player is joining the party. UK based Ladbrokes is yet another gambling enterprise trying to benefit from the Italian market. 

Ladbrokes, which operates more than 2,700 betting shops around Europe, failed in its attempt to open betting shops in Italy. It will now try its luck with online gambling. 

In accordance with the Italian legislation, Ladbrokes will initially offer only local Texas Holdem poker tournaments, but is expecting to expand its activity to cash poker, casinos and bingo games, when Italian legislation permits it. 

Ladbrokes Chief Executive Officer referred to the launch, saying: “We are committed to expanding the international reach of our online business and Italy is an excellent regulated market opportunity. 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 games later this year.” 

As a part of its expansion strategy Landbrokes is also eying the Spanish market. The Spanish market is still regulated on a regional level, but is expected to switch to a national regulation in 2011. Landbrokes will be there, trying to achieve the national permit for online gambling.