Italy Places Ban On Gambling Advertisements
The country of Italy has released what is called a “Dignity Decree” that effectively bans advertising for casinos online and other forms of gambling. Alongside other new laws in the decree, the gambling ad ban was part of a party promise to bring in the reins on social problems throughout Italy.
This new decree has been published in the official newsletter of the Italian government, putting it into effect immediately. As is the case in most regions, the laws have been cause for serious debate concerning the gambling pros and cons.
Ads for gambling have been a major point of discussion recently, especially after the 2018 World Cup. The television network in the United Kingdom known as ITV reportedly ran close to 90 minutes of advertising related to gambling while the World Cup was broadcast. The Premier League also has gambling industry sponsors on 9 out of the 20 clubs, sparking concern from opponents of advertising related to the pastime.
Revenue related to the gambling industry is still going strong, with the best example being the United Kingdom. The UK draws in over £14 billion every year, but the large amount of money going towards gambling stirs up a lot of debate. While there are many individuals assumed to be put at risk due to gambling, the industry also generates an incredible amount of tax revenue for the UK government.
In addition, multiple jobs have been created and sustained because of the successful UK gambling market model. While other members of the European Union have taken steps in putting restrictions on gambling, Italy’s new move can be seen as the most radical example. Advocates of the new laws stress that the lack of gambling ads will protect younger Italian residents.
The perception is very different from online casino providers and players in Italy. Experts in the industry claim that a lack of advertising will only diminish the reach of legitimate betting sites, allowing offshore operators without licenses to take advantage of the situation. Some companies predict that the excessive gambling problem will not be solved. Instead, restrictions will just contribute to the black market for gambling. The reason for such an intense debate is obvious. Italy’s gambling industry is growing 25 percent every year and is second only to the UK in terms of size.
Paddy Power Betfair is one of the largest operators with a stake in the Italian online casino industry. However, the company is considering its options on its future in the country after the new restrictions on advertising were announced. Paddy Power Betfair was first introduced as an option in Italy during 2012, but the roads have been rocky as unlicensed offshore online casinos have impacted the potential for profit.
Casinos online in the region also face stiff competition from Italian sports books. The relation between Paddy Power Betfair and the football club Juventus is now in jeopardy because of the new laws. In fact, a complete exit from the Italian market may be in the works if things don’t improve for the Irish gambling giant.