On August 7, 2018, Italian Parliament passed into law a piece of legislation issued by the Government one month before, Law Decree no. 87 of July 12, 2018, so called ‘Dignity Decree’.

The Decree has established a general prohibition on gambling advertising to strengthen consumer protection and contrast gambling addiction.

The ban is effective as of July 14, 2018.

According to Article 9, para. 1, the ban covers any form of advertising, including indirect advertising, relating to games or gambling with winnings in money, however carried out and in any means, including sporting, cultural or artistic events, TV and radio broadcasting, the daily and periodic press, any genre of publications, billboards and the Internet.

In addition, since January 1, 2019 the ban will apply also to sponsorships of events, activities, gatherings, programs, products or services and to all forms of communication of promotional content, including visual and acoustic citations and superimposing of the name, brand, symbols, activities or products whose advertising is prohibited.

The scope of the ban is comprehensive. However, the Decree also establishes some exceptions. In particular, the following forms of advertising fall out of the scope of the ban:

  • National lotteries with deferred number draw, as set forth in Article 21, para. 6, of Law Decree no. 78 of July 1, 2009, no. 78 (passed into Law no. 102 of August 3, 2009);
  • Local events, as set forth in Presidential Decree no. 430 of October 26, 2001;
  • Logos on safe and responsible gambling of the Customs and Monopolies Agency.

Advertising agreements already entered into at the date of the coming into being of the law decree will remain valid until the expiration date or July 14, 2019 whatever occurs the first.

In case of infringement of the ban, the Italian Communication Authority shall issue a fine equal to 5% of the value of the sponsorship or of the advertising, provided that the amount of the fine shall be no lower than Euro 50.000.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.