Total gaming wagers in Italy rose 14.4% in 2009 to $78.28 billion, according to gaming regulator AAMS. Total wagers include slot machines, scratch-off games, Lotto, SuperEnalotto and horse-racing bets.
A $10 million scratch-off ticket has made a Texas woman into a lottery winner for the fourth time. Joan Ginther has collected more than $20 million in lotto winnings since first hitting a $5.5 million jackpot in 1993.
Country Crossing in Dothan, Ala., celebrated its grand opening over the weekend after threats of a government raid evaporated when the task force commander resigned. The $87 million gaming complex features restaurants named after country stars and created 1,300 jobs in the area. However, opposition to electronic bingo could present a legal threat to Alabama gaming establishments.
Some Atlantic City casino executives object to a proposal to legalize Internet gambling because it would also allow video lottery terminals at New Jersey racetracks. The city's casinos pay $90 million a year to the horse-racing industry as part of an agreement banning VLTs at state racetracks. "Anything that would include VLTs would not be something we would support or be interested in," said Mark Juliano, chief executive officer of the Trump Entertainment Resorts casinos.
Former gambling addict Arnie Wexler now counsels problem gamblers with his wife, Sheila, through the hotline 1-888-LAST BET. Wexler's last wager was in 1968, and he is concerned with how widespread gambling has become in the U.S. during the past four decades.
Penn National Gaming will pursue plans for a casino at a former auto-parts plant in Columbus, Ohio. The company originally planned to develop a casino in the Arena District but faced community opposition. Moving the casino to a new location requires a statewide vote, which could be scheduled as part of Ohio's May 4 primary election.