Italian gambling market growing

The Italian gambling market continues to show remarkable resilience despite the difficult economic climate in Europe, the state gambling regulator AAMS advised this week in presenting statistics for the month of May 2009.

Wagers in Italy rose 9.5 percent in the first five months of the year to Euros 22 billion, and total wagers in May, including slot machines, scratch and win cards, sports betting and lotteries, were Euros 4.342 billion, it said. May 2008 wagers were Euro 3.913 billion, according to the Agipro news agency.

During May 2009 scratch card and lotto wagers were down year on year, while sports betting and online poker were higher, with the market generally showing remarkable resilience in the difficult economic climate.

The market leading Italian gambling company Lottomatica SpA posted higher first-quarter results. Two-thirds of the rise Lottomatica expects in full-year EBITDA will come from its Italian activities, it has advised. Lottomatica holds the concessions for Italy's Lotto game and Gratta & Vinci scratch cards. It also has activities in sports betting and online poker.

AAMS gave the following snapshot of May results (millions of euros):

May 09 Apr 09 May 08

Slot machines 2,004 2,014 1,784
Scratch cards 741 889 790
Lotto 479 449 539
Sports betting 420 418 295
Horserace betting 172 183 218
Superenalotto 206 196 156
Online poker 200 188 nil
Bingo 120 105 131

Totals 4,342 4,442 3,913

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