Illegal Gambling & Gambling Addiction: Advertising Bans & Restrictions In Italy

Author:Dr. Felix Hofer (Hofer Lösch Torricelli)
Profession:Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance (GALA)
  1. In recent years, lawmakers and regulators throughout the EU are increasingly worrying about the negative side effects of (especially, but not exclusively, online) gambling. Research showed that a significant number of EU citizens - in particular young people - had become more or less addicted to such practices and were founding themselves suffering both, from a health perspective as well as far as their economic wellbeing is concerned.

  2. Therefore, the EU Commission felt that compulsive gambling and the risks of gambling addiction deserved special attention and issued, to the purpose, Recommendation n. 478 of July 14, 2014, containing "principles for the protection of consumers and players of online gambling services and for the prevention of minors from gambling online".

    The Recommendation provides for:

    Detailed information requirements for entities operating gambling sites, Means to prevent minors from accessing (and participating in) gambling platforms, Identification requirements for players active on such platforms, Player support systems, such as: monetary deposit and temporal limits, periodic alerts about wins and losses and playing time, helplines, a credit ban for operators and their obligation to keep records of players' deposits and winnings, policies and procedures to facilitate interaction with players, whenever their behavior indicates a risk of a gambling disorder, Operators' obligation to offer players a system to activate, at any moment, time out or self-exclusion from a specific service or from all online gambling services, Transparency requirements and specific bans for all commercial communication relating to such services as well as sponsorship limitations, A call on Member States to come up - where appropriate in cooperation with consumer protection organizations and the associations of gambling site operators - with educational and public awareness-raising campaigns, meant to inform consumers and vulnerable groups (e.g. elderly people and minors) about the risks deriving from compulsive gambling or addiction to it, An invitation to Member States to designate specific supervising authorities, in charge of ensuring effective compliance with the principles mentioned above. 3. The Italian House has followed up on such Recommendation through Law no. 208 of December 28, 2015, which sets the general criteria and principles for preventing the performance of illegal gambling and betting, on one hand, and for...

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