NEWS » Are Italians the biggest gamblers in Europe?

Are Italians the biggest gamblers in Europe?


Italy is the only country where, during these terrible years of financial crisis, gambling addiction has increased instead of decreasing.

A study by “Libera, associazione antimafia”, reports that Italy has the biggest gambling turnover in Europe, amounting to over 76 billion euro a year legally, plus 10 billion euro illegally.

Most people gamble at some point in their lives, but for some gambling can become a serious addiction which can run out of control and affect their professional and social lives.

According to CNR (Centro nazionale di ricerca) data there are 500 thousand gamblling addicts in Italy. These people spend every year 80 billion euro for an average expenditure of 2000 euro per person. Italy has been the only country to increase the number of gamblers since the financial crisis broke out. That means 25% more every year, while in the rest of the world the numbers decreased by 5%.

Almost a half of these people are pensioners, housewives and unemployed, they represent the weakest part of the population and they usually seek for emotional reward and money to make ends meet.

According to Alea, (associazione per lo studio del gioco), one hundred thousand are teenagers. In Italy one teenager out of four buys scratch cards every week and 11% of them risk compulsive gambling and numbers are increasing.

Six thousand people are already receiving treatment in the public centres for curing addictions, which, without receiving any money from the state, deal also with gamblers.

The number of people experiencing problems with gambling has increased also in the UK due to economic troubles associated with the global recession and an increase in the number of gambling outlets. Every year, over 7 billion pounds is spent on gambling.

In the UK, it is estimated that around 350,000 people are suffering from a gambling addiction. to gamble it is now easier than ever before because there are a huge number of online betting shops and games sites enabling people to gamble 24 hours a day.

Moreover, the average gamblers’ age dropped from late thirties to early twenties.

Giulia Lombardo

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