Win For Life, slot machine, videolottery, Superenalotto, Scratchcard, lottery, poker, bingo, roulette, sports betting. Everybody knows what these things are, the enchantment of a millionaire winning is just a click away, just switch on the TV or leaf through a magazine. Even though these games are very popular, just few realize the extent of this phenomenon. 88 are the billions of Euros that were collected by the State through gambling in 2015: this means that every Italian, including newborns babies, has spent more than 1,400 Euros last year on average to try their luck.
Here we go: luck. Who in the world hasn't dreamt of a stroke of good luck, to finally change their life? A low cost dream, a modest investment to buy a ticket. But, is this dream really within reach? Is it really a modest investment? Is the ticket price really fair? What are the false beliefs influencing the propensity to bet? How much information can players really access?
These questions resulted in the Fate il Nostro Gioco™ experience in 2009. The idea was that of using mathematics as a prevention tool, a sort of “logical antidote” to become, at least partly, immune to the risk of excessive gambling and betting. Because, and we firmly believe it, mathematics is a means to express critical thinking, a chance to raise citizens' awareness, especially for young people, within a context where much is based on the poor knowledge of the rules of luck.
Fate il Nostro Gioco™ explores the laws of mathematics behind chance and betting. And it does so with any tool with have managed to think of: an exhibition, a laboratory, a conference in schools and university, training courses and insights for professionals, teachers and pathological gamblers, a constantly updated Facebook page and a Twitter account with the latest news on gambling.
Paolo Canova and Diego Rizzuto, a mathematician and a physicist from Turin, after building up experience in science communication, gathered together skills and objectives and gave life to Fate il Nostro Gioco™ in 2009.
Together with Sara Zaccone, in 2012, they founded TAXI1729, a training and science communication company with a specific aim: combining the precision and accuracy that science needs to the passion and fun that a different form of communication may generate.
In a short time, Fate il Nostro Gioco™ proved to be highly successful and popular, outperforming expectations, thus being able to attract the attention of the audience and the media: the authors were invited to the science communication TV show, broadcast on La7 channel, "La Gaia Scienza", and they were entrusted with a segment, “I probabilisti”, consisting of 8 contributions for 8 episodes, on air between March and May 2010. This experience was then followed by many other contributons, as mathematics and gambling experts, on Italia1 (“Le Iene”), Rai1 (“A sua immagine”), Rai3 (“Cosmo”, science communication programme) TV channels and Radio Deejay (together with Trio Medusa and Luciana Littizzetto) Rai Radio3 radio stations. A number of TV reports dealt with the project, on Rai2, Rai3, Canale5, Italia 1, La7, as well as feature stories on nationally broadcast TG3, TGR Piemonte and TGR Liguria and articles on Il Corriere della Sera, La Repubblica, La Stampa newspaper and Famiglia Cristiana, Wired, Vanity Fair magazines as well as articles on local and specialist magazines.
Nearly 100,000 participants, mostly students, have joined the Fate il Nostro Gioco™ conferences so far, in Italy but also in France and Switzerland. The two speeches at the Italian Parliament on March, 20th 2012 and on November, 17 2014 were particularly relevant in this context.
The association's science communication projects were rewarded by the Ministry of Youth during the Festival dei Giovani Talenti (Festival of Young Talents).
During their research work and interventions on the field, they have collaborated with the following bodies: