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Italian Gambling Advertising Ban Could Cause Problems for Local Football
- July 12, 2018 By Riley Wilson -
According to the news coming from Italy, the country’s new coalition government is determined to follow through with the ban on all gambling advertising.
Namely, Italy’s Council of Ministers approved the newest draft of Dignity Decree that prohibits all gambling advertising starting from January 1, 2019.
The Decree text must get the necessary support from the parliament within the period of 60 days.
A Big Problem for Serie A
Any form of advertising, direct or indirect, for gambling and any kind of betting, across all media will be banned, as well as the sponsorship of events, football or other sports clubs.
The Italian top-tier league Serie A expressed extreme worry when it comes to its financial future since 12 of its clubs had some connections with gambling companies during the 2017-18 season.
The league added that cutting off this important revenue stream would bring competitive disadvantages to Italian clubs, directing abroad advertising budgets mean for their teams.
Enrico Preziosi, the president of Genoa FC said this ban was madness and added the government had not understood the devastating effect the ban would have on local football.
He predicted the ban would not even resolve the problem issues the government claimed it was meant to address.
According to the Associated Press, the European Gaming & Betting Association stated the gambling industry had contributed an annual €120 million to Italian sport and added that Italian fans would still be exposed to international football teams’ gambling sponsorship due to the cross-border nature of the internet and television.
Silvio Berlusconi, the former Prime Minister and the owner of the Mediaset broadcasting firm, has also expressed his dissatisfaction regarding the coalition’s plans.
Mediaset could suffer a 50% in its revenue due to this prohibition, but, nevertheless, Berlusconi decided not to make any comments on this issue until the Decree had been voted on by parliament.
Interior Minister Matteo Salvini called the Decree’s gambling curbs a good start and emphasized that parliament would have its say on the Decree’s final language.
The interesting fact is the promotion of the state-run lottery is excluded from the prohibition. Many think that this puts the national lottery at a significant advantage and favours the black market.
One thing is certain, both supporters and opponents of the Decree will engage in lobbying in the following period.