GAMES of chance are risky, but as a source of revenue they are a safe bet. Global lottery sales rose by 7% to $275 billion last year, according to La Fleur's 2013 World Lottery Almanac. Lotto, a game where people pick numbers to match those drawn, is the world’s most popular form of lottery. Last year lotto sales raked in more than $110 billion, followed by scratch tickets at $76 billion. Europeans spend the most on lotteries of all sorts, at $113 billion. Italy’s Lottomatica is the world’s largest lottery operator. Like some of its counterparts it also runs sports betting (La Fleur's list includes revenue from all games that a lottery operator offers, which in several cases includes sports betting.) When Lottomatica’s sales are added with those of Sisal, the next largest Italian lottery, the average Italian spends around $480 annually. That plump sum is not nearly as high as the amount forked out by Singaporeans. The island-state’s 5m people spend about $1,000 each in the Singapore Pools.
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