Signs of Growth in Italian Casinos? By Luke Haward, CDC Gaming Reports June 19, 2018 at 12:01 am Despite some concern for the future as the new government displays what some are calling a degree of animosity toward the gaming market, land-based casinos across Italy are actually showing positive signs of growth in several recent cases. One Italian outfit in particular, GiocoNews, went into considerable detail reporting on a clutch of four major Italian casinos for May, and the only one they found to be truly languishing in financial terms was the notorious Campione d’Italia. This is unsurprising, given the casino has been fighting off a case of forced bankruptcy for some months now. The Como Public Prosecutor’s Office brought the file in January, citing implications of financial impropriety; the drama which has unfolded has seen casino management threaten 166 redundancies, a fraught negotiation with the trade unions, and an agreed reduction in labour costs as an alternative. Through all this, naturally, the struggling venue has not managed to turn a profit. In more positive news, the Casino di Sanremo which is located on the Italian Riviera, performed very well in May, riding the wave created by a recent burst of investment in the venue. Slots saw growth of 12%, and table games were more active as well. Venice Casino also posted strong performance during May, as did Val d’Aosta, operated by the Saint Vincent gaming house. Let’s face it, though: this whole piece reads a bit like an industry effort at positive spin. May is a little bit of light in what has so far been a dark year for Italy’s casinos; they have had a bad run for at least the last four months when compared with 2017. The times ahead don’t precisely look enticing, with only one casino in the whole country posting an increase of any amount in terms of numbers of punters through the door, and that increase, reported by Val d’Aosta, is a meagre 0.32% over last year. What could be the reason for this decline? Some argue that the Italian people are just feeling over-saturated with gambling, with major social movements across a number of regions aiming to reduce the presence of gambling machines and slots, and a government promise (albeit by the previous administration) to do just that. It’s early yet, granted, but the new powers look even more likely to follow through, or double down, on that promise.