Italy’s Council of Ministers has approved a blanket ban on gambling advertising in the country, which will take effect on 1 January 2019. The Council of Ministers has the power to pass decrees with legal force in cases where Parliament has expressly delegated legislative authority to the Council. In recent years, there has been a shift in legislative power from the hands of Italy’s parliament to the council. This means that the ban, as it stands, will come into effect as law in the New Year.
It was reported only a few months ago that “Italian betting is finally moving forward” and “stakeholders currently await with optimism”. However, this blanket ban has shattered these expectations, imposing a complete ban on gambling-related sponsorships.
The decree’s explanatory report reads:
“any form [of gambling advertising] even indirect … is prohibited; however carried out and on any means, including sporting, cultural or artistic events, television or radio broadcasts, daily and periodical press, general publications, billboards and internet”.
The report adds that the ban “also applies to sponsorship”. The ban prohibits all promotional activity of gambling in Italy and so prevents clubs from displaying any marks or branding from the gambling sector.
The legislation aims to fight gambling addiction by banning betting advertisements across all media platforms, including television, websites, radios and the sponsorship of sports clubs. The government hopes that banning advertising in this way will reduce the number of vulnerable members of society from engaging in gambling.