Italy bans all forms of gambling advertising

Promoted as a measure to limit the exposure of vulnerable individuals and minors to gambling, the so-called ‘Dignity Decree’ banning all forms of gambling advertising has been introduced in Italy in late May. Having passed all the legislative hurdles, the Decree has finally been ratified by the Parliament and published in the country’s Official Gazette mid August.

The Decree, set to take full effect in July 2019, will see both gambling operators and advertising service providers having to take steps to ensure compliance.

Provisions against gambling

In its final version, the Decree takes several measures against gambling – a total advertising ban, increased gaming machine taxes and a warning that slot machines face further cuts.

In particular, in terms of a total advertising ban, the Decree outlaws “any form of advertising, even indirect, relating to games or betting with money prize”, carried out “on any means, including at sporting, cultural or artistic events, on television or radio broadcasts, in daily and periodic press, all publications in general, billboards and the internet”.

Only national deferred lotteries, local events and logos on the safe and responsible gaming of the Customs and Monopolies Agency are excluded from the ban.

The Decree also bans “sponsorships of events, activities, products or services and all other forms of promotional communication, including visual and acoustic quotes and the overlay of the brand, trademark, symbols, activities or products whose advertising is prohibited”.

Existing advertising contracts may be honoured until July 2019 provided they were signed before the law came into effect, while sponsorship agreements involving gambling companies can continue until January 2019.

Sanctions foresee an administrative fine equalling 20% of the value of the sponsorship or advertising campaign with a minimum of € 50,000 per each violation, proceeds of which are to be paid to a specific chapter of the state budget and then reassigned to the fund for the fight against pathological gambling.

Response of the sector

The Decree was generally met with a vigorous opposition from the sector. The main concern is that the total ban would strip the authorised operators of their major advantage – directing consumers to a regulated and supervised offer. EL is collecting information on how this ban could affect the discussion in other countries.

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Synopsis

Français

L’Italie interdit toutes les formes de publicité pour les jeux d’argent

Prôné comme une mesure visant à limiter l’exposition aux jeux des personnes vulnérables et des mineurs, le « décret sur la dignité » interdisant toute forme de publicité pour les jeux d’argent a été ratifié par le Parlement italien et publié au Journal officiel du pays à la mi-août. Le décret interdit toute forme de publicité, même indirecte, relative aux jeux ou paris comprenant des gains monétaires, et menée de quelque manière que ce soit, y compris lors de manifestations sportives, culturelles ou artistiques, à la télévision ou à la radio, dans la presse quotidienne et les magazines, dans les publications en général, sur les panneaux d’affichage et internet. Il interdit également le parrainage d’événements, d’activités, de produits ou de services, et de toute autre forme de communication promotionnelle, y compris les citations visuelles et acoustiques, ainsi que la superposition de marques, de marques de commerce, de symboles, d’activités ou de produits dont la publicité est interdite. Les sanctions prévoient une amende administrative équivalant à 20 % de la valeur de la campagne de parrainage ou publicitaire, avec un minimum de 50 000 € pour chaque infraction. Le décret s’est généralement heurté à l’opposition du secteur, selon lequel une interdiction totale priverait les opérateurs autorisés de leur principal avantage (orienter les consommateurs vers une offre réglementée et supervisée), et aurait en fin de compte un effet opposé à celui prévu. Certains pays de l’UE, peut-être encouragés par les développements en Italie, caressent dorénavant l’idée d’introduire des règles plus strictes en matière de publicité pour les jeux d’argent, alors que d’autres ont déjà pris des mesures concrètes dans ce sens.

Español

Italia prohíbe toda forma de anuncios sobre apuestas

El llamado “Decreto de la dignidad”, promovido como una medida con la intención de limitar la exposición de las personas vulnerables y los menores al juego y las apuestas, prohíbe todas las formas de publicidad sobre juego y apuestas, y fue ratificado por el Parlamento Italiano y publicado en la Gaceta Oficial del estado a mediados de agosto. El decreto proscribe cualquier forma de publicidad, incluso la indirecta, relacionada con el juego o las apuestas con premios monetarios, llevada a cabo de cualquier manera, incluidos los eventos deportivos, culturales o artísticos, en la televisión, en la radio, en cualquier periódico, en cualquier publicación en general, en vallas publicitarias o a través de internet. También prohíbe el patrocinio de eventos, actividades, productos o servicios y cualquier otra forma de comunicación promocional, incluidas las citas visuales y acústicas y la superposición de marcas, marcas registradas, símbolos, actividades o productos cuya publicidad esté prohibida. Las sanciones previstas son una multa administrativa del 20 % del valor de la campaña de publicidad o patrocinio con un mínimo de 50.000 € por cada infracción. El decreto fue recibido con oposición general por parte del sector, que sostiene que una prohibición total desposeería a los operadores autorizados de su mayor ventaja: dirigir a los consumidores a una oferta regulada y supervisada, lo cual provocaría que el decreto tuviese un efecto contrario al pretendido. Posiblemente alentadas por los avances en Italia, algunos países de la UE están en estos momentos coqueteando con la posibilidad de introducir nuevas reglas más estrictas para la publicidad de juegos y apuestas. Algunos de estos países ya han tomado ciertas medidas en ese sentido.

Deutsch

Italien verbietet Werbung für Glücksspiele

Das sogenannte „Dekret für die Würde“, das verhindern soll, dass anfällige Personen und Minderjährige mit Glücksspielen in Kontakt kommen, wurde vom italienischen Parlament verabschiedet und in der Gazzetta Ufficiale veröffentlicht. Es sieht ein Verbot jeglicher Arten der Werbung für Glücksspiele vor. Das Dekret verbietet jegliche Bewerbung von Spielen oder Wetten mit Geldpreisen in allen Arten und Formen, wie zum Beispiel bei Sport-, Kultur- und Kunstveranstaltungen, im Fernsehen und Radio, in Tages- und wöchentlich erscheinenden Zeitungen, jeglichen Publikationen, auf Anzeigetafeln und im Internet. Auch das Sponsoring von Veranstaltungen, Aktivitäten, Produkten oder Dienstleistungen und andere Arten der Werbekommunikation wie visuell oder auditiv präsentierte Zitate sowie die Darstellung von Marken, Markenzeichen, Symbolen, Aktivitäten oder Produkten, deren Bewerbung verboten ist, wird untersagt. Sanktionen sehen Verwaltungsstrafen von 20 % des Wertes der Sponsorenschaft oder Werbekampagne vor, mindestens aber 50.000 EUR pro Verstoß. Das Dekret stieß in der Branche auf Widerstand. Sie vertritt die Meinung, dass ein vollständiges Verbot genehmigte Betreibern eines wichtigen Vorteils berauben würde: Verbraucher auf behördlich genehmigte und beaufsichtigte Angebote aufmerksam zu machen. Somit könnte das Dekret einen gegenläufigen Effekt haben. Weitere EU-Länder – gegebenenfalls veranlasst durch die Entwicklungen in Italien – erwägen, strengere Auflagen für die Bewerbung von Glücksspielen einzuführen. Einige haben bereits konkrete Schritte in diese Richtung unternommen.

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