Gambling advertising subject to stricter rules in Italy?
Gambling advertising might be subject to further restrictions in Italy, according to what stated by a representative of the Ministry of Finance.
The current Italian gambling advertising regulations
General gambling advertising rules had been introduced in 2012 with the so called Balduzzi decree and more recently the Italian self-regulatory authority had even provided stricter rules for advertisements relating to games with cash winnings.
Then, at the end of 2015, the so called Stability Law prohibited gambling advertisements that encourage excessive or uncontrolled gaming, denies that gaming can be risky and fails to make explicit the modalities and the conditions for the exploitation of incentives or bonuses. And indeed, especially bonuses have been the subject of the last major disputes faced by gaming operators before the self-regulatory advertising authority.
Additionally, the Stability Law also banned advertisements of games with cash winnings on “generic programs” from 7 am to 10 pm. The Ministry of Finance then issued a decree clarifying the applicability of the ban from 7 am to 10 pm to all the Italian generic channels i.e. the first 9 channels of the Italian channel numbering.
The potential changes of gambling advertising laws
No time restriction applies so far with reference to any non-generic channel, save for the previous obligation not to broadcast gambling related advertisements 30 minutes before and after TV programs dedicated to minors.
However, according to the press, Mr. Baretta, the vice-ministry of the Ministry of Finance in charge of the gambling sector, declared that it is considering to
- increase the ban on generalist channels to later than 10 pm and
- extend the restriction to also the other channels.
There is no actual law proposal on the matter and I have seen in the past a number of statements and proposals on restrictions on gambling advertising that did not lead to anything. Therefore, the matter shall not sound as an alarm, but shall be monitored.
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WRITTEN BY GIULIO CORAGGIO
IT, gaming, privacy and commercial lawyer at the leading law firm DLA Piper. You can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or via phone at +39 334 688 1147.