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Gambling: These rules apply in Italy

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AgenPress. Almost no one knows that the game of lotto was invented in Italy by the Genoese in the fifteenth century. At the time, a lottery ticket was used to determine the five members of the city council. For this purpose, 90 names were written on a sheet of paper and 5 pieces of paper were drawn face down. This was the origin of the lottery, which later turned into a lively competition. The first news about this lottery game dates back to 1620. Today gambling is the third largest economic sector in Italy. As a result, gambling and therefore gambling in a casino, betting and even lottery have a high status in the country.

How is gambling defined in Italy?

According to Italian criminal law, games of chance are those games in which winnings and losses depend exclusively on the case. This includes both betting and the outcome of a future event, ie gambling such as roulette or horse racing. These are all activities where the end result is uncertain.

The problem of gambling in Italy

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The problem of gambling has never been as serious as in Italy. The same goes for gambling addiction, which is particularly high here. This is due to the gaming machines that are found in almost every corner of Italy. After the liberalization of gambling in Italy in 2006, you can find gaming machines in almost all bars.

Economy and gambling

The third largest sector of the economy, gambling contributes up to 4% of GDP. 101.8 billion euros were played by Italians in 2017, an increase of more than 5 billion euros over the previous year. More than $ 49 billion has been spent on slot machines, $ 9 billion on scratch cards and, of course, online gambling.

Gambling and the ban

In Italy, gambling is prohibited in public places and also in private ones. A table lists the billiard and game rooms, public houses, or private clubs that have permission to install one or more gaming machines or where you can play cards. Exceptions apply to authorized casinos and cruise ships outside the Mediterranean basin.

Some types of gambling have been legalized

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These are fixed rate games such as Lotto, totalizer games such as SuperEnalotto and Eurojackpot, sports betting such as Totocalcio and Totogol. The same goes for horse betting and also for non-sporting events such as the Sanremo music festival and the Eurovision Song Contest. However, even skill games like backgammon or naval battle played online are considered legal. All classic casino games such as roulette, card games, traditional lotteries and bingo are also considered legal. However, online cash poker is not considered legal.

In addition, local events such as lotteries and charity lotteries are also allowed, provided they are run by companies, associations and non-profit organizations. In addition, local events such as family and private bingo for the purpose of pure gambling are also classified as legal.

The current orders of the Italian government

The first step regarding gambling in Italy was to reduce by a third the number of slot machines and video lottery terminals in places open to the public. In addition, slot machines can only be placed in certain places. Bars and cafes are now excluded. In the future, the minimum distances from schools and other facilities for young people will also have to be respected.

Prohibition of gambling advertising

Italy was the first European Union country to ban gambling advertising. Television or radio programs and sporting events can no longer be sponsored by gambling providers. Violators will be fined at least 50,000 euros. The national lottery advertising is the only exception. The aim of the ban is to combat the massive addiction to gambling in Italy.

New restrictions are in place

Meanwhile, the Italian government is planning a new regulation of gambling. According to the Italian industry magazine AGIMEG, the details of a first draft law have been announced. It contains a large number of new restrictions for both gambling providers and players.

The goal is to combat illegal and pathological gambling. At the same time, however, the legal gambling sector must not be weakened and tax revenue must not be abandoned. Another important aspect is the standardization of gambling legislation at the national level. There are currently significant differences from region to region with regard to traditional gambling.

Player protection measures

Standardization and reduction of deposit, time and loss limits is one of the main measures for the protection of players. While in some places there are fixed maximum limits for slot machine gambling, in the south of the country this is virtually unlimited. Legal online gambling players can still set their own limits, but uniform deposit limits per player per month will apply in the future. However, there is still no concrete information on the amount of the limits.

In Germany, deposit limits of 1,000 euros per month have been introduced on the basis of the State Gambling Treaty. For German gambling suppliers, this means that they face much stricter restrictions than in many other countries. In the UK, France or Denmark, suppliers must ask their customers to set a deposit limit. However, this still offers a very individual leeway. In Belgium, for example, a weekly deposit limit of € 500 applies, while Swedes have a weekly deposit limit of SEK 4,000 (€ 387).

A national self-exclusion register is also planned. It could be similar to the “OASIS” locking system launched in Germany a few months ago. This should ensure that players can be excluded from all providers at the same time. This could significantly reduce the risk of relapse.

In the field of gambling, there is also an improvement in employee training. This involves training for the early recognition of players at risk of addiction. At the same time, employees should be able to provide the affected players with a suggestion on the most appropriate help offers. In the future, coaches will be allowed to accept bets on matches involving underage athletes. Such regulations already exist in other countries.

Fight against illegal gambling operators and the mafia

The government also wants to step up the fight against illegal gambling providers. The main concern is unlicensed online gambling portals and the still high number of unregistered slot machines.

Today, much of the illegal gambling market in Italy is in the hands of mafia-style organizations. According to estimates by the anti-mafia units of the Italian police authorities, criminal organizations now earn more money from gambling than from drug and human trafficking, protection racket, waste disposal and other activities such as mobster ”. The Italian administrative authority of customs and state monopoly (ADM) should be responsible for monitoring and combating illegal operators.

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