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Italian gambling advertising ban passes into law

The Italian Parliament has given final approval to legislation that will ban all gambling-related advertising and sports sponsorship in the country from next year.

The parliament passed the proposal in a 155-125 vote on Tuesday (August 7th) as part of the Decreto Dignità (Dignity Decree), a series of measures also aimed at reducing bureaucracy for companies and preventing businesses that are supported by public funds from moving abroad.

Despite Italy's top sports leagues opposing the ban, which they said would only serve to damage Italian sports, the legislation prohibits all gambling related ads except those promoting the state lottery. Article 9 of Decree Law number 87 lays out a comprehensive ban across all channels, including sporting events, television and radio, newspapers and magazines, online and on social media.

Those breaching the decree will receive a fine of 20 per cent of the value of the marketing, with a minimum fine of €50,000 for each individual breach. The fines will fund gambling addiction treatment and be distributed by the country’s Ministry of Health.

Sponsorship contracts that are already active will be permitted until their expiration, but for no longer than one year from now.

As well as the ban on advertising, instant lottery tickets will also now carry warnings that cover at least 20 per cent of both sides of the ticket.

Italy’s deputy prime minister and minister of economic development, labour and social policies, Luigi Di Maio, welcomed the legislation, stating that it will “give dignity to the weakest social categories of the country".

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