Betting Advertising to be banned in Italy
Both online and land based casinos will be banned from any form of advertising in Italy as of January 2013.
The Autonomous Administration of State Monopolies (AAMS) will introduce the Balduzzi Law that will ban the use of TV, radio, press and Internet advertising and “prevent incentive to gambling activity or to exalt games.” Under the provisions proposed by Renato Balduzzi (tell us who he is), any form of advertising that promotes games that involve betting or gambling will be forbidden.
This will be in addition to a Balduzzi decree that already restricts the sale of video poker and the sale of tobacco. In the guidelines of the law, “direct commercial, audio-visual and radio advertising which encourages Italians to buy or participate in gaming activities such as lotteries, competitions with prizes, sports betting or other online activities in which cash prizes are determined by chance” will be banned.
Any casino seen to be in violation of this law will faces fines up to € 500,000. For land based casino there could still be some respite as clarification on the law still needs to be determined. Land based casino will have to wait and see how the government plans to implement 5,000 inspections of gaming halls as well as a provisional plan that aims to place gaming halls away from religious buildings and schools which minors attend.
This may prove to be a spanner in the works for the AAMS as there is a grey area as to whether this plan is compliant with the European Court of Justice on the Costa Cifone case which challenged the discrimination of casino operators based on their location.
As one of the most progressive countries in Europe in terms of online Gambling, online slots are due to launch in Italy on December 3rd, 2012. This announcement came at the same time as the Balduzzi Decree, signalling what could become a high pressure standoff.