Italy Introduces Blanket Ban On Gambling Advertisements

Author:Mr Nicola Dolci
Profession:Withers LLP

The new Italian government's new gambling legislation for the country's football clubs has been overshadowed by Cristiano Ronaldo's signing to FC Juventus. The so-called 'Decreto Dignità' (Law Decree no. 87/2018), which came into force on 14 July 2018, is intended to combat gambling addiction by banning the advertisement of gambling and betting related services and products.

Article 9 paragraph 1 of Decreto Dignità bans betting and gambling providers from advertising in publications, via the media (including TV, radio, the internet and social media platforms) and on billboards. The ban also includes advertising at sport and cultural events.

The same paragraph states that any existing sponsorship agreements or campaigns promoting betting and gambling operators will benefit from a grace period until 1st January 2019. After that date, sports clubs will be forbidden from receiving sponsorship from these companies.

Nevertheless, Article 9 paragraph 5 of Decreto Dignità does not apply to existing sponsorship agreements which will be permitted to run until their contracted expiration or 14 July (whichever is earlier).

Unlawful advertising and sponsorship may give rise to fines on the advertising contractors, calculated as the higher of 5% of the value of the deal or € 50,000.


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