Gambling sector: the numbers of the legal and the illegal in comparison – MI-LORENTEGGIO.COM

Last updated on June 25, 2022 – 10:41 PM

Milan, June 25, 2022 – Among the various sectors that have required specific regulations, certainly stands out that of the game. The competences of the ADM (Customs and Monopolies Agency) go far beyond the issuance of a license that recognizes specific gaming rooms the possibility of operating offline and online on the Italian physical and digital territory. In fact, the tax revenue that, from authorized casinos, fills the state coffers also depends on this license, which can therefore draw from one of the most substantial rounds of money in Europe in general, and in Italy in particular.

The numbers of the legal game

The cash flow that characterizes the gaming industry is extremely substantial. If we consider that, every year, more than 4000 new users register on the gaming portals, and that the best ADM-certified casino games manage to polarize only 50% of Italian players, we can quickly estimate how this world is actually in continues to grow.

This growth specifically involves many young people between the ages of 18 and 30, regardless of gender: these are young people who, in part, take the path of serial gaming, risking developing a serious gambling disorder if they fail to play responsibly; most, in any case, end up playing only occasionally, for pure pleasure, limiting themselves to using lotteries and roulette as a less demanding pastime. The same reasoning cannot be done for slot machines, which alone polarize 40% of the state’s revenue from gambling, a clear sign of how they have become iconic in the world of online and offline casinos. In comparison, cards and lotteries represent only 16% of legal gambling revenues in Italy.

These are percentages that are all the more important the more you consider the actual turnover of the gaming world. Looking at 2019, the total Italian spending invested in gambling was 119 billion euros, with a contraction in 2020. These are dizzying figures, in which slot machines play the lion’s share, guaranteeing a turn of tens of billions of euros, compared to the just 200 million polarized by poker and 50 million in bingo.

The contraction in 2020 could be linked to the pandemic and the effects it has triggered on physical gaming rooms and their conversion to digital: the latter is estimated to have generated a loss for the state of more than 7 billion euros. However, the recovery of the sector has guaranteed a return to figures equal to those of 2019, given the 14 billion spent on gambling in Lombardy up to 14 million bets in Val d’Aosta.

Illegal gambling in Italy

The transition to digital, a direct result of a society that focuses more and more on the virtual and that has received a boost not indifferent to the health emergency, has triggered a strong growth in the number of illegal casinos, especially online. This is a global phenomenon: if you think about certain specific fields, such as horse racing, you find that 80% of the bets follow an illegal turn.

In Italy, the situation does not reach these percentages, but the figures remain comparable to those of the legal game authorized by the former AAMS (Autonomous Administration of State Monopolies). At least 20 billion euros of Italians therefore tend to flow into illegal casino coffers, often unreliable machinery and as such – following due control by law enforcement – subject to seizure.

The violations committed by non-ADM casinos are significant, and go far beyond the offer of slots or rigged machines: the most aggressive advertisements and made to circumvent the promotion of responsible gaming, the absence of devices that secure transactions conducted by users and the risk, due to the lack of controls, that minors are also registered among them are just some of the dangers that customers of these gaming rooms may face.


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