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Friday, 11 May 2012 08:27

Italians Play Casino Games To Help Their Government

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Countries all over the Union may be imposing austerity measures, but Italians are living their lives the way they want – and supporting their government through their entertainment.

People all across Europe are feeling the pinch as pennies are squirreled away into government coffers, the result of austerity measures and spending cuts. But Italians seem to have found the right balance between entertainment and supporting their government, with those who play casino games having a great time and winning cash to spend in their flagging economy.

In the face of gloomy economic predictions, the Italians are living it up at slot machine parlours and bingo halls whilst buying lottery tickets, spending an estimated €80bn on legal gambling last year. A further €10bn is estimated to have been spent in illegal gambling, run by organised crime syndicates, but illegal rackets are being squeezed out thanks to Italy's progressive liberalisation. Analysts agree that as one of the best regulated and most liberal gaming markets in Europe, Italy's steps towards liberalisation has helped to expand the industry and encourage companies to enter the market.

And it appears to be a win-win situation, with punters who win buying treats for themselves and pouring their money into a flagging economy, and with the government raking in billions of euros in taxes and licensing fees. Monti's government is even considering raising the taxes further, generating much-needed revenue for the Treasury.

In the meantime, gambling in Italy is a part of life and appears to be one untouched by the doom and gloom of economic forecasts.