Betting in Italy increased in July 2009 to push the value of bets up 12.25 percent in the first seven months of the year, reports the Reuters news agency, citing record-breaking lottery game numbers as an important contributory cause which has attracted new gamblers.
The latest numbers were released by Italian regulator AAMS just before the weekend, and show that bets on the SuperEnalotto game nearly doubled in July to Euros 441 million from June's Euros 233 million. The game is run by Italy's private equity-owned Sisal.
SuperEnalotto has attracted increasing interest as its jackpot has risen above Euros 100 million. It currently stands at Euros 123 million, the largest jackpot available in the world at the moment, according to the specialist Agipro news agency.
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The total value of bets placed in Italy rose 10.8 percent in the January to June period, and in the first seven months bets amounted to Euros 30.541 billion.
In July, total bets were Euros 4.275 billion, up from June's Euros 4.114 billion.
Italy's Lottomatica SpA, one of the world's largest lottery operators, saw flat bets of Euros 494 million for its Lotto game from a month earlier, while scratch cards rose 1 percent to Euro 743 million, AAMS said.
Snai SpA, which runs the country's largest horserace betting chain, saw overall bets in the horserace sector down in July to Euros 154 million, from Euros 164 million, continuing a recent downward trend.