ROME, April 10 (Xinhua) -- Gambling is the third biggest business in Italy, where nearly one million people are addicted, according to a study by Libera anti-mafia association.
"We estimated that Italy has the biggest gambling turnover in Europe, amounting to over 76 billion euro (99 billion U.S. dollars) a year legally, plus 10 billion euro (13 billion dollars) illegally," Marcello Cozzi, deputy president of the association, told Xinhua on Tuesday.
Libera reported each Italian spends on average about 1,260 euros (1,648 dollars) per year in scratch cards, slot machines, video poker or bingo.
Online betting was growing the fastest, as gamblers spent 1.5 billion euros (1.9 billion dollars) on the Internet last year, tripling the 2010 turnover.
Presently more than 800,000 Italians, including many underage people, are seriously addicted and can be cured only by specialists, Cozzi stressed.
"The problem of gambling addiction is very serious, and has increasingly worsened in this period of economic crisis, with many people searching the lucky break that could change their lives," he said, adding widespread adverting especially contribute to feed the gambling industry.
Small wonder, the expert pointed out, that criminal organizations are strongly attracted by such business that always makes a profit and is unaffected by the economic crisis, and in fact there are many mafia clans running gambling activities throughout the country.
He wished Italy provides with a modern legislation, like in the Anglo-Saxon countries that are much more advanced in this sector, for example limiting harmful advertising that continuously incites gambling.
According to local reports, the Italian parliament has recently started drafting an initiative to address the issue.
"At a time of economic difficulty, the lure of quick and easy wealth has ruined many Italians, particularly those more vulnerable such as young, unemployed, poor and elderly people," international cooperation minister Andrea Riccardi told Rai state radio.
"I am studying the problem, which is rather complex. The goal is to ban adverts by gambling-sector companies, as in the case of cigarettes, or at least strictly limit them," he said.
Il 24 maggio 2013 presso lo stadio Olimpico di Torino, Via Filadelfia, 96/B si svolgerà la finale della XIV edizione del torneo calcistico Memorial "Bruno Caccia" istituito per ricordare la figura del magistrato barbaramente ucciso trent'anni fa dalla criminalità organizzata in questa città.
Davanti a un atto vile e grave non esprimiamo solo vicinanza e solidarietà. Non basta, noi esprimiamo corresponsabilità. Solo l'assunzione di responsabilità da parte di ognuno di noi è la vera, concreta e migliore risposta alle minacce e alle intimidazioni.
CATANZARO, 23 MAG - 'Ci stupiamo di chi si stupisce. Ormai lo dicono le relazioni antimafia, lo dimostrano le inchieste, lo confermano i sequestri: bar ristoranti, locali sono tra le attivita' preferite della criminalita' organizzata per riciclare il denaro'.