Large-sample research indicates that a relatively small proportion of Italian punters rely on advertisements for their information
Following a commission from Italian regulator AAMS, the Italian health agency Istituto Superiore della Sanità has conducted a study of Italian problem gambling, releasing their conclusions Thursday.
The research interrogated over 12,000 respondents, making it one of the largest yet in Italy, and reported:
- 18.4m Italians, or 36.4 percent of the population, gambled at least once in the past 12 months, ranking Italy fifth in Europe in gambling participation terms, compared with Spain (75.7 percent), the UK (63 percent), France (56.2 percent) and Germany (39 percent);
- 13 million of these are characterised as social gamblers and not at risk of developing a problem;
- 2 million are ‘low risk’ but could develop a gambling problem;
- 1.5 million can be classified as problem gamblers;
- Of these, just 13,000 would be considered compulsive and in need of professional help;
- Problem gamblers are typically between the ages of 55-64 years old and are more likely to favour slots, video lottery terminals and virtual betting – in the main land-based activities in Italy. They are more likely to favour gambling activities that are not approved by the government, both land-based and online; and they are often associated with other addictive behaviour involving alcohol, tobacco or drugs;
- The study addressed the issue of the advertising bans soon to be imposed by the Italian government, allegedly to protect problem gamblers, finding that only 19.3 percent of active Italian punters had indicated that they were inspired to gamble by advertising, and that 80.7 percent of respondents had indicated that advertising did not form part of their decision process to gamble.
The Italian gambling industry trade association Logico was quick to jump on the last point, with president Moreno Marasco urging government to carefully consider the Istituto Superiore della Sanità findings, and claiming that online gambling is not at the heart of problem gambling issues.