The anomalous boom of gambling in Italy, jointly with its many negative externalities, call for a focused analysis of the current model of capitalistic development and the neo-liberal rhetoric that underpins it. We first review the economic paradigms of the Civil Economy and other heterodox approaches, that provide alternative models of human behaviour and anthropology, discarding the classical homo oeconomicus metaphor and its strict hedonism, and proposing concepts such as eudaimonia, relational goods, public prizes and virtues. Then, we study the case of the Slot Mob movement, considered in its socio-political and economic dimensions, which stands as one exemplary actualization of the Civil Economy’s approach to phenomena such as gambling. This movement demonstrates the internal coherence and vitality of this heterodox approach, and its contribution to the construction of a new model of economic democracy that responds to the structural crisis of the current one, and to the loss of broad representativeness of contemporary politics.
Keywords: Economia Civile, rete Slot Mob, legge regionale sull’azzardo, Marche