As of Tuesday, August 7th, no gambling products can be advertised on the radio, T.V or internet in the European country, Italy.
As Italy’s parliament passed a bill banning all gambling advertising by a close 155-125 vote on this Tuesday.
The country’s parliament then went on to state, “As of today(Tuesday) along with gambling advertising being outlawed, sports sponsorships also face a similar fate.”
However, in a traditional “we are better than you” government fashion, the new legislation does not apply to the national lottery which is operated by the government.
This decision is a result of the added push by Luigi Di Maio, Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and head of the Populist 5 Star movement. Initially, he had submitted his advertising ban termed “Dignity Decree” back in June and, and once he had the bill passed he went on to say, “In decades, this is the first decree to not be dictated by either lobby nor vested interests. A point has finally been scored by the common people.”
Technically, the ban is supposed to go into effect on the 1st of January 2019. Although, if any company has a current contract that will not expire even after that date will receive an extension until June 30, 2019.
Di Maio states that this new bill passed will ensure that if any advertising contract that promotes gambling “will not be valid between the approval of the Dignity Decree in the Council of Ministers as well as its publications.”
This new bill could prove to be a major issue for several gambling companies like Betway, that just a month ago signed a three-year sponsorship deal with Italy’s Serie A football club AS Roma.
Opposing this new bill, LeoVegas, a gambling operator in Italy tried to convince the country’s lawmakers by saying that this decision will only prove to be of benefit to unlicensed gambling operators. Failing to receive any response, LeoVegas went all the way to file a formal complaint with the European Commission regarding the ban, however that complaint too received a similar fate.
It will take some time for the new law to be gradually accepted in Italy.
Also in accordance to the new law, social media giants Facebook and Google have already made the necessary changes to their search platforms; however, it resulted in a situation where unlicensed operators appeared at the top of the results of searches. Till this bug is fixed it could prove to be quite an issue for major gambling companies in Italy.
In an attempt to reduce the impact caused by the ban on their businesses, several experts close to this matter have anticipated for operators to move offshore.