Gambling in Italy grew by 10 percent in the first four months of the year to $23,950 billion, the state gambling authority AAMS said.
A year ago, in April 2008, wagers were 4.076 billion. During the first quarter of this year, Italian gaming company Lottomatica reported higher results and said two-thirds of the rise it expected in full year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) came from its Italian activities.
Lottomatica holds the concession for Italy's Lotto game, Gratta & Vinci scratch cards and is also expanding in sports betting and online poker.
A competitor, Snia, is active in sports betting and operates Italy's largest horse betting network.
This morning, Lottomatica shares were up 2.59 percent at 15.85 euros and Snia shares up 1.82 percent to 2.80 euros, outperforming Milan's S&P/MIB index which was off 1.71 percent.
Chart of Italian gambling (millions of euros):
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