Italy's 2009 total gaming wagers up 14.4 pct-AAMS

MILAN Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:38am EST

MILAN Jan 19 (Reuters) - Italy's total gaming wagers rose 14.4 percent in 2009 to 54.4 billion euros ($78.28 billion), gaming regulator AAMS said, as the sector showed its ability to brush off the recession.

December bets were 5.36 billion euros, the regulator said in a statement late on Monday. The month's figures included 2.65 billion euros from slot machines and 921 million euros from scratch-and-win cards.

The full-year increase in overall bets is higher than the 12.96 percent rise seen in the first 11 months. December's bets are higher than November's 4.604 billion euros gaming figure.

Italy's Lottomatica LTO.MI operates scratch cards, which rose 35 percent from November, and the Lotto game which had December bets of 536 million euros, up 22 percent on a monthly basis, AAMS said.

December wagers on the SuperEnalotto game, operated by unlisted Sisal SpA rose 8 percent to 335 million euros from the previous month.

In horseracing, wagers rose 7 percent to 166 million euros on a monthly basis. Snai (SNAI.MI) is active in the sector. (Writing by Nigel Tutt; Editing by Mike Nesbit) ($1=.6949 euros)