The Italian Almanac



Italy's Cooperation and Integration Minister Andrea Riccardi called for a ban, or a limit, on adverts by gambling-sector companies. The industry is booming in Italy and Riccardi fears that vulnerable people could be putting themselves into hardship in already tough economic times to finance gambling habits.

Riccardi, who is also the founder of the Catholic charity the Community of Sant'Egidio, said he has asked his department to look into possible measures "to ban (gambling) advertising, as in the case of cigarettes, or at least have very strict regulations". He said the most vulnerable groups in Italian society, such as the unemployed, poor families and elderly people living alone, were under most threat.

"The state, which receives a lot of money from this sector (in taxes), cannot fail to take care of the groups most at risk and the problems gambling often produces, which are frequently real social dramas," he said.