Gambling Boosts the Italian Economy


Italy is spending a significant amount more money than many European countries on various forms of gambling, supporting an industry that brings billions of euros into the state's coffers.

'Our business is resilient even in recession, not just in Italy but the whole world,' said Marco Sala, chief executive of Lottomatica, Italy's biggest gaming company.

With increasing concerns regarding gambling in Italy, Sala opts to draw attention to the industry's 'gross gaming yield' in Italy which came to €18.5bn in 2011 and up 50% in the prior 5 years.

'Italy is one of the most penetrated markets in the world,' said Sala. Licenses have been issued for additional gambling sectors including slot machines, bingo, online poker and most recently video lotteries, while illegal gambling has ceased.

'We have to be aware of the social implications of this business. Is there too much spending on gaming? There is a debate on that. There is a debate on advertising. That is fine.'

There is no doubt that gambling has helped the Italian economy and it unlikely that the Italian government will do anything to decrease such revenues.

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