In Dossier No. 40 Alberto Maria Radici analyzes the slot machine and video lottery market in Italy, highlighting how prohibitionist legislation is not discouraging legal gambling, but only shifting consumers to illegal or online gambling (which generates lower tax revenues and employment).
- Since 2017, slot machines (AWP) and video lotteries (VLT) have seen revenues decline, first due to higher taxation, then due to increased competition from illegal and online gambling.
- Academic literature points out that legal gambling has positive economic spillovers, but overtaxation, reducing payouts, prompts players to shift to illegal gambling.
- For years, governments have chosen a repressive approach toward legal gambling, tightening regulations and raising taxation. However, there has been no deterrent effect, as total spending by Italians has increased in a decade from 88.5 billion to 111.1 billion.
- These policies have had one effect, not a virtuous one, which has been to favor online gambling, which contributes less tax to the treasury and has a much smaller employment impact.
READ ONLINE40 – Il gioco legale attraverso apparecchi di intrattenimento
PhD candidate at the School of Economics, University of Rome - La Sapienza. A graduate in Political Economy from the same university, he works on the economics and geography of innovation.