According to Italian gambling news reports some of the country’s elected representatives are introducing various ideas to restrict the country’s gaming industry.
While Italy is still struggling to exit a post-election deadlock and create a stable government, some of the MPs are busily submitting proposals to change Italian gambling laws, which have no chance of being voted into force in this politically divided landscape.
Less then two weeks ago it was Democratic Party representative Lorenzo Basso, who proposed a complete ban on “any form of advertising for games that provide cash winnings”, threatening to deal a serious blow to the country’s EUR 80 billion gambling industry. This is an industry, which yields the otherwise stressed treasury around EUR 8 billion every year.
More recently it was the former comedian Beppe Grillo’s 5-Star Movement (M5S), a completely new player at the table of Italian politics, proposing a flat out ban on gambling, claiming it strengthens organized crime and fosters social problems.
The M5S initiative of shutting down all brick-and-mortar establishments as well as online casinos in Italy received strong criticism from anti-money laundering expert and University of Bologna professor Ranieri Razzante, who has also been a consultant for the Parliamentary Anti-Mafia Commission.
Giving an interview to Genova24, professor Razzante urged a cautious approach and highlighted that gambling “is subject to the very strict rules of the Consolidated Public Safety Act and the Criminal Code.” He went on to add that “legalization actually removed part of the Mafia’s financial interests in gambling.”
Addressing the issue of problem gambling, the Italian expert claimed that banning a legitimate business to achieve this goal “would be akin to preventing the sale of cars to avoid further accidents.” He suggested instead that well organized awareness campaigns would be much more effective in preventing problem behavior.