In recent years, the Italian Legislature has repeatedly intervened in the regulation of the gambling and betting industry, both to prevent the spread of illegal and unlawful activities, and to protect consumers and maintain public order. The industry is of particular interest since, as highlighted by a recent governmental report, the estimated value of the gambling and betting industry amounts to approximately EUR 2 billion per year. The Italian press recently reported that in January 2009 alone, more than EUR 140 million was spent on online games platforms from Italy. Under Italian criminal law, gambling (gioco d’azzardo), whether in a public place, an open-to-public place or a private club, is prohibited and punishable by imprisonment and monetary sanction.
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