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In this infographic, we lay out what can be done and what is prohibited under the Italian gambling advertising ban in legal design style.
In July 2018, the Italian Law Decree No. 87/2018, also known as the Dignity Decree, was adopted, which among its various objectives also was intended to fight against the spread of gambling disorder. Specifically, the regulation introduced the ban of gambling and betting advertising in the Italian legal system.
The prohibition concerns any form of advertising, direct or indirect and in any way carried out. In case of violation, there is a pecuniary administrative sanction and the authority responsible for the challenge, and the imposition of sanctions is the Italian communications authority (AGCOM).
We have summarized in the infographic below created by Carolina Battistella of DLA Piper in legal design style. The rest of the article discusses what is prohibited under the Italian gambling advertising ban and what the gambling advertising ban still allows.
In terms of enforcement, the regulation on the prohibition of gambling advertising in Italy has posed some interpretative difficulties, especially concerning online advertising, the identification of the entities that can be called responsible for any violations of the rules contained in the Dignity Decree and the conditions under which these subjects can be called to answer. For this reason, AgCom adopted guidelines to provide interpretative clarifications to companies regarding the applicative effects of these prohibitions within the primary regulatory framework of reference. In particular, the following are considered admissible
- the mere communications that maintain an exclusive descriptive, informative and identifying purpose of the legal gaming offer, functional to allow an informed gaming choice, such as by way of example, the information that is made available on the gaming sites or in the physical gaming points, concerning the odds, the jackpot, the probability of winning, the minimum bets, any bonuses offered, provided that they are carried out in compliance with the principles of continence, non-deceptiveness, transparency and absence of promotional emphasis;
- information, issued at the request of the customer – if strictly pertinent to the customer’s request and functional to allowing informed gaming choices – regarding the functioning and characteristics of the gaming service, or the existence of new products or services; and
- information services of comparison of odds or commercial offers of different competitors (e.g. odds spaces);
- the use of the brand that identifies, in addition to the gaming services with cash or gambling winnings, further activities, having an autonomous character, provided there is no ambiguity about the object of the promotion and in this there are no evocative elements of the game except for the mere name of the supplier.
In addition to traditional forms of advertising, the following are considered prohibited commercial communications if pertaining to gambling or betting products, by way of example: – product placement; – distribution of branded gadgets of gaming products; – organization of events with prizes consisting of branded products; – prize competitions as defined and qualified by Presidential Decree no. 430 of 26 October 2001; – editorial advertising; – direct and indirect advertising carried out by “influencers”.
Sponsorship of events, activities, shows, programs, products or services, and other forms of communication with promotional content are also prohibited, including visual and acoustic citations, which emphasize calls to action relating to gaming and/or betting.
There have already been sanctions issued by AgCom, which then had different outcomes, such as the measure against Google, which was later annulled following the appeal to the Italian administrative court that we discussed in this article “Google is NOT liable for breach of the Italian gambling advertising ban“.