A million Italians are gambling addicts,says studyApril 11th, 2012 - 1:37 pm ICT by IANS
Rome, April 11 (IANS) Gambling is the third biggest business in Italy, where nearly one million people are addicted, according to a study.
“We estimated that Italy has the biggest gambling turnover in Europe, amounting to over 76 billion euro ($99 billion) a year legally, plus 10 billion euro illegally,” said Marcello Cozzi, deputy president of Libera, an anti-mafia association.
A Libera study said each Italian spends on average about 1,260 euros ($1,648) per year in scratch cards, slot machines, video poker or bingo.
Online betting was growing the fastest, as gamblers spent 1.5 billion euros on the internet last year, tripling the 2010 turnover.
Presently more than 800,000 Italians, including many underage people, are addicted and can be cured only by specialists, Cozzi told Xinhua Tuesday.
“The problem of gambling addiction is very serious, and has increasingly worsened in this period of economic crisis, with many people searching the lucky break that could change their lives,” he said.
Criminal organisations are attracted by such business that always makes a profit. That is why many mafia clans are running gambling activities throughout the country, he pointed out.
“At a time of economic difficulty, the lure of quick and easy wealth has ruined many Italians, particularly those more vulnerable such as young, unemployed, poor and elderly people,” international cooperation minister Andrea Riccardi recently said.
- Italian Police seize 'mafia assets' worth $1.9 bn - Sep 15, 2010
- 15 bn euros of mafia wealth seized in Italy - Jun 12, 2012
- 16 Italian judges held in anti-mafia operation - Mar 20, 2012
- How online gamblers perceive themselves - Nov 23, 2010
- Italian mafia on its knees, says minister - Dec 10, 2009
- Italian top fugitive mafia boss held - Aug 17, 2012
- Flat seized from Italian mafia to become kids' home - Sep 07, 2012
- 35 suspected members of Calabrian mafia arrested in northern Italy - Mar 14, 2011
- Police move to crush mafia in Italy - Jul 13, 2010
- Italian politicians held for trading votes with mafia - Dec 23, 2010
- Sport fundamental for Italy's future, says CONI president - Jul 11, 2012
- Serie A defender arrested over match-fixing suspicion - Apr 03, 2012
- Italy to invest 2 bn euros in Serbian energy projects - Oct 27, 2011
- Gambling addiction treatment 'is not one-size-fits-all' - Mar 16, 2011
- Italian president warns of wave of violence - May 24, 2012
Tags: andrea riccardi, cozzi, criminal organisations, deputy president, economic crisis, economic difficulty, gamblers, gambling addiction, international cooperation, italians, lucky break, mafia clans, marcello, online betting, problem of gambling, scratch cards, slot machines, study rome, video poker, xinhua