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Italian Gambling Advertisers Dealt A Poor Hand

Country To Implement A Ban Starting Next Year


All of life is a gamble in one way or another, and whether you call it luck or fate none of us choose where we are born or into which family, and from that moment we come into this world as wriggling, crying bundles of joy (or not) the whole of what becomes of us can be gambled with the choices and decisions we make.

We like to bet, it really is that simple, from the earliest records in history up to two children betting on which raindrop will reach the bottom of the window pane first, we love to have a wager and we love to win.

This had led to a massive gambling industry which have provided bricks and mortar venues like bingo halls and online live casino sites which provide that fix that many players crave during their busy day when they are on the go.

Unfortunately, there are those that play too much, become addicted and this addiction just like any other addiction (like drugs and alcohol) can cause problems within families and ruin relationships. This addiction to gambling has led Italy to impose a blanket ban on gambling advertising which begins on January 1, 2019.

Obviously, this blanket ban brought out a great deal of objection from the gambling industry and in a late reprieve those advertisers who already have existing agreements that go beyond New Year’s Day next year can now fulfill their contracts without fear of recriminations.

This blanket ban imposed by the Italian Council of Ministers will apply to all gambling related products and services over all media platforms and that means all websites, radio and television channels. Sports clubs will also be prohibited from carrying sponsors from the industry, with the state-run national lottery being the only thing that this ban does not apply to.

The drastic change in Italy’s gambling law was authored by the Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio, and LOGiCO who is a trade body that represents the interests of online operators in Italy is reported as saying:

‘Whilst fully sharing the concerns of the institutions with regard to problem gambling, LOGiCO does not believe that this ban can produce positive effect in terms of plyer protection or recue – and certainly not eliminate – the risks derived from an uncontrolled practice of the games themselves.’

Di Maio has an interesting career as he is the leader of the anti-establishment Five-Star Movement which became the largest party in Italy’s coalition government this year coming from obscurity less than a decade ago piggy backing on a long list of radical reform proposals. Di Maio has previously said that he would lobby for broader gambling advertising restriction across the whole of the European Union.

What is more surprising is that the Deputy Prime Minister refutes the idea that banning gambling advertising would drive gamblers underground, into the black market which would offer those that enjoy a bet or wager on their favourite sports or game far less protection leaving them open to cyber theft of both funds and identities.

But, perhaps the biggest losers will be the sports clubs as more than half of the football clubs in Italy’s top footballs division, (Lega Serie A) have lucrative sponsorship deals in place with firms from the gambling sector so it’s going to be a matter of ‘watch this space’ to see what happens there.

Tags: Italy,   Gambling Ad