In order to overcome these concerns he hopes to bring the gambling legislation before the authorities in the future. The gambling sector is one of the largest industries in Italy and at the beginning of last year income from this sector was up to 23 billion euros. Per head, the Italians spend the most in Europe on gambling.
The motion by Italy’s Northern League political party to place a moratorium on any new online or land based gambling businesses in Italy was supported by the country’s Senate. The government was defeated by quite a large majority since there is widespread concern in the country at the extremely rapid expansion in gambling and the associated social and psychological problems linked to problem gambling.
The moratorium on any type of new gambling business would be put in place for a year.Italy is going through a major recession and rising unemployment has seen an increase in the numbers of people seeking to improve their own economic situation through gambling.
Although groups dealing with those suffering from gambling addictions claim that both pensioners and the young unemployed are also caught up in the gambling spiral as they attempt to escape from their money problems. At the same time that the country has suffered from an economic slowdown, the gambling sector has seen huge growth. This year alone, the amount of companies offering different types of gambling activities has increased by almost a third. There has been a major increase in the amount of businesses with slot machines and these have almost doubled in number.The Italian government benefits greatly from the tax income brought in from gambling in the country. The Economy Under secretary, Alberto Giorgetti, who encouraged opposition to the ban on online and land based gambling claimed after the government’s defeat that there were problems linked to the Northern League’s motion and that these would affect the situation for gambling operators and also cause the state to lose up to six billion euros in revenue from gambling taxes.