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Italy: Gambling advertising regulations and self-regulatory rules ratified

The Italian gambling advertising regulations previously approved by the Government have now been ratified by the Parliament with the implementation of some changes. Also, the Italian advertising self-regulatory body adopted gambling advertising self-regulatory rules. The problem is the impact of these regulations and how they live together.The major change implemented compared to the decree approved by the Government relates to the fact that it is now prohibited the broadcasting of gambling ads not only during the course of TV, radio, cinema programs mainly addressed to minors but also in the 30 minutes before and after them. Also, the regulations now stress even more that the percentage of payout shall be specified in the ad. However, the regulations still prohibit any advertisement aimed at “creating an incentive to the gambling activity or to exalt the game” which is very broad wording that might include any type of gambling advertisement. For this purpose together with Roby we are working with AAMS in order to issue some guidelines that will clarify the scope of the regulations and the types of ads that are prohibited.

The matter is relevant since the regulations provide for fines up to € 500,000 for their breach and the fact that the fine can be issued both against operators and media owners implies that media owners are unlikely to broadcast gambling ads without a prior approval of the ad by AAMS. At the same time, the Italian advertising self-regulatory body has adopted an addendum to the advertisingself-regulatory code with provisions aimed at regulating gambling advertising. Unfortunately such provisions are not in line with the regulations approved by the Parliament and therefore gambling campaigns shall make sure that they are compliant with both the primary regulations approved by the Parliament and the gambling self-regulatory advertising rules. Indeed, even if the breach of such self-regulatory rules does not trigger fines, since all the major media companies are signatories of the self-regulatory advertising code, the breach of the code will lead to the termination of the advertising campaign on the channels of communications controlled by companies that are signatories of the code.

 If you want to discuss the matter, feel free to contact me, Giulio Coraggio (giulio.coraggio@dlapiper.com)