Thursday September 5,2013 : ITALIAN GAMBLING MORATORIUM PASSES
 
Senate votes against executive over ban on new businesses
 
The Italian government suffered a setback this week when the Senate supported a legislative attempt to impose a moratorium on the opening of new land and online gambling enterprises in Italy for a year.
 
The ANSA news agency reports that Premier Enrico Letta's government was defeated Thursday when the Senate voted by a large majority in favour of a Northern League motion calling for the moratorium.
 
Senators expressed concerns about the rapid expansion of land and online gambling facilities and the possible dangers this represented in terms of social dysfunction and problem gambling.
 
All forms of gambling in Italy have risen during the current recession, the country's longest in over two decades.
 
Economy Undersecretary Alberto Giorgetti said he would offer to resign his responsibilities for the gambling sector after the Upper House overwhelmingly rejected his call to vote against the banning motion.
 
He said the content of the motion caused problems regarding the rights of gambling businesses and that a moratorium would produce a six-billion-euro gap in the State budget.
 
Giorgetti later said he would resubmit the gambling law at a later stage.
 
"It all happened during a time of great confusion in the chamber. In effect it was a voting mistake," explained Centre-left Democratic Party Senator Felice Casson.