Martedì, 23 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Official calls for help stopping gambling addiction

English
© ANSA

Rome, July 18 - Italy must develop a wide-reaching
response to the growing issue of problem gambling, a senior
public official said Thursday.
"We need a comprehensive plan that involves all
institutional players," with an emphasis on "the prevention of
problem gambling," said Luigi Magistro, deputy director of
customs and monopolies.
Speaking to a conference on responsible gaming, Magistro
said authorities have been working on how best to deal with
addiction problems but must now look for preventative measures
to avoid addiction in the first place.
Gambling addiction is a growing problem in Italy, fed by
government-operated gaming as well as illegal betting.
Studies released late last year by trade union
confederation CGIL showed a 691% jump between 2005 and 2010 in
the number of people seeking professional help to deal with
gambling addictions.
Over that same period, the number of people seeking help
for drug addictions increased by 23%.
And a report last year from Italy's Catholic social-service
group CEIS found that gambling is Italy's third-largest
industry, earning 47.5 billion euros in revenue in 2008.
Its study found that 47% of Italy's poor and 66% of the
unemployed are known to gamble.
The study also showed that 47% of youth aged 15-24 have
played video poker and slot machines.
Online betting, which tripled in 2011, is growing the
fastest, as gamblers spent 1.5 billion euros on the Internet
last year.
Gambling revenue in Italy was up 28.8% to 23.2 billion in
the first quarter of 2012.

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