Responsible gambling strategies for internet gambling: An empirical investigation into the Italian gambling market


The aim of this study is to analyse, in the Italian sports betting sector, the impact of Internet gambling on the level of consumption of gambling products and the responsible gambling strategies adopted by the on line gambling operators. From the methodological viewpoint the research work has been organised into two phases. In the first phase, an empirical investigation has been carried out on a sample of Italian consumers directed towards measuring the impact that the use of the Internet has on the volume of bets made on sports events. In the second phase, an analytical work has been performed on the on line gambling websites of the main operators of the Italian sports betting market, directed towards examining the measures adopted for promoting responsible gambling. The results of the empirical research indicate, on the one hand, that in the Italian market, as has happened in other national gambling markets, the legalization of on line sports betting may determine an increase in the level of consumption of gambling products and, thus, in the potential risks of excessive gambling; and, on the other hand, that the normative approach adopted in the Italian gambling market, based on a ‘concession model’ which provides for a strong public control of the gambling operators, has favoured a widespread adoption by the on line betting companies of an articulated series of measures aimed towards harm minimisation in Internet gambling. Thus, the findings of this study contribute towards the economic-managerial literature on the theme of firms’ social responsibility by providing important insights for gambling firms and public policy makers regarding the responsible gambling strategies for Internet gambling adoptable in the markets, such as the Italian one, in which on line gambling is fully regulated.

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