An excellent academic STUDY demonstrates the risks associated with illegal gambling motivated by excessive restrictions on legal gambling

The prestigious academic institution Luiss Business School and the multinational market research company Ipsos have presented the first research report on the gaming sector in Italy after the COVID-19 crisis.
The project has been developed within the framework of the Regulated Market Observatory with the aim of understanding the dynamics of the sector, the behaviour of the players and the risks associated with the development of illegal channels. Likewise, it is intended to generate scientific support for the actors involved such as administration, companies, and civil society.

The report reveals the negative effects of the health crisis in the legal gaming sector, which collapsed due to restrictions, as well as the alarm over the growth of illegal channels.

We must emphasize that the Italian gaming industry has significant economic value (understood as the ability to generate income, employment, and resources from public finances). It is a fundamental pillar of the finances of that country considering that in 2019 it contributed 11,400 million to the treasury, compared to an estimated collection of 6,700 million euros in 2020, which means a contraction of 41%.

Here are some of the highlights of the study:
  • 67.7% of the Italian adult population, or 31,350,000 individuals, played some type of game in 2020. Around 4.4 million users played on illegal channels, not all fully aware of this choice.
  • The gaming sector invests in research and innovation. More specifically, 63% of companies with more than 10 employees have invested in digital technologies, compared to 61% of the national average.
  • In 2020, gaming revenue had the lowest impact on tax revenue since 2006. Despite the growth of online gaming, total spending suffered a reduction of 33.5%.
  • The land-based gaming sector was the most affected by the consequences of Covid-19, with a fall of 41.7%

Professor Raffaele Oriani, Associate Dean of Luiss Business School, highlighted the importance of the study, saying: “The evidence and results of this work could provide a valid scientific basis for future discussions on supply chain regulation and its balanced and sustainable development".

Along the same lines, Oriani emphasized the importance of defending such an important sector for the economy and assures that it is "necessary to update the regulation of legal gaming, making it more functional to contrast the potential risks for users".

On the other hand, the president of Ipsos, Nando Pagnoncelli, draws attention to the phenomenon of unconscious legal gaming, and explains that it is “carried out by those who do not understand the limit between legality and illegality, a phenomenon that we observe both online and offline. A more effective communication strategy seems necessary to remove this quota of players from illegality".

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