Italy’s AGCOM fines companies that promote gambling via YouTube

Italy’s media and communications agency, Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni (AGCOM), has issued a warning to national and international media owners, as well as affiliated publishers, that gambling advertising rules silver of the Dignity Decree must be respected and obeyed. The warning comes after AGCOM fined Google Ireland Ltd €750,000 ($743,000).

Google Ireland Ltd was not the only company to be fined by AGCOM

Google Ireland Ltd has received the record fine after promoting gambling-related content in its YouTube videos. However, it is not the only company that has been taken by the wrath of AGCOM.

Top Ads Ltd, a Malta-based affiliate marketing agency, was also fined €700,000 ($694,000). The company created illicit content that promoted gambling promotions on SpikeSlot.com and according to reports, they were distributed to 5 YouTube channels.

AGCOM has reminded companies that it is able to impose fines on foreign owners thanks to recent rulings by the European Court of Justice (ECJ), which gives it the power to do so. He also noted that YouTube violated Section 8 of the Dignity Decree.

Pursuant to article 8, direct and indirect advertisements on gambling are not allowed to be shown to the Italian public.

In the warning, AGCOM noted it was the bureau’s first action against a video hosting company and said YouTube had been found liable for failing to remove illegal content distributed on its platform. -formed by a third party.

The gaming industry in Italy is about to be reformed, but the process could be more difficult than expected

In March, Italian authorities announced that the gambling industry would be reformed and changes would take place within the next 12 to 18 months. The changes were confirmed by the Undersecretary for Gambling of the Italian Ministry of Finance and they were initiated to help the country recover from the pandemic.

However, after Mario Draghi, the Italian Prime Minister, tried to resign at the end of July, the industry was dealt a blow. Draghi’s resignation was not accepted by the Italian President, Sergio Mattarella, and thus the political situation in the country became chaotic.

At the time, Draghi noted that there was no longer a national unity majority in government and that is why many planned reforms could be delayed. This could cause major problems for game operators. The licenses of gambling operators in the country expire on December 31, 2022.

A small fraction of good news has come for the country’s sports betting as their licenses have been extended by the Customs and Monopolies Agency until June 30, 2024. Between June 30, 2022 and June 30, 2024, operators of sports betting will have to make two installments.

The first will take place on October 31, 2022 and the second on April 30, 2023. The same dates will apply for the second year of the license term.

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