Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Gambling In Italy


It Is Widespread and Brings the Government $10,000,000 a Year.

In Italy there are many highly moral laws against gambling, but the government is responsible for a system of state lotteries which encourages widespread gambling among the people.

The published statistics show average receipts of over $10,000,000 a year.

Every Saturday afternoon the lottery is drawn in the eight principal towns of Italy, and there are government lottery offices in every town and village, where tickets may be taken for any of the eight lotteries in this kingdom. A village may be too small to have a postoffice, but it will be pretty sure to have a lottery office.

The method of staking in the lottery is to select from one to four numbers and to stake what you please upon them at the nearest lottery office.

You may bet on one number, and if it is one of the five drawn in the lottery you receive 12-1/2 times your stake. Or you may bet that it will be drawn either first, second, third, fourth or fifth in the order of drawing. In this case you get 66 times your stake if you win.

Another plan is to take two numbers and back what is called the ambo. If both your numbers come out among the five, you get 300 times your stake. If you choose three numbers, which is called a terno, and they all come out, you win 5,000 times your stake.

If you back four numbers, called a quaderno, you win 60,000 nines your stake.

The method most in vogue among the peasants is to take three numbers and invest a small sum on the terno and on each of the ambos contained in it. A peasant's weekly investment ranges between 2 cents and 10 cents. As little as four-fifths of a cent may be staked.

All kinds of omens are consulted to arrive at the lucky numbers. Dreams are great favorites, and inspirations are drawn from any great national event.

For instance, when Victor Emmanuel died, the tip was to play the number of his age, the number of the year of his birth and the number of the day of the month on which he died. Thousands of people backed this terno, and, oddly enough, it actually came out.

A few weeks late Pope Pius IX died. The same game was played on the numbers relating to his death, and again the terno came out.

Of course the government lost a great deal of money on these occasions, but it would soon get it back again by the additional impulse given to the gambling by the news of these winnings. — Pearson's Weekly.

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