While the whole of Europe has been letting up the hard stance on gambling, even in countries not part of the European Union, mind, Italy has taken a reverse course. Gambling ads are now under fire and that affects every possible medium out there. In other words, you will no longer be able to see any gambling advertisement done at all in Italy.
Radio, TV, and Internet – they are all off the book. Of course, the measures will not come in effect immediately, but the 5 months until the end of the year are hardly enough time to prepare the betting agencies for the cold-turkey stoppage of all gambling.
The Morality Decree
The measure is spearhead by the coalition party, the populists from 5 Star Movement. Their arguments sound convincing, though and they tap into the public sentiment. Italy’s people are not happy with the recent developments in their economy. Deficit and debt are high. Business is stalling. Immigrants are continuing to assail the shores and put a strain on the purse of the ordinary Italian.
Meanwhile, the casino bosses continue to add to their riches. Put like this, 5 Star Movement may not have a solution to Italy’s ills, but targeting a cause that will rally support for them is an easy way to guarantee themselves some political capital and put it to good use.
The new bill was passed with 150 to 125 votes, which means that the opposition against gambling is not as large as previously anticipated. However, this may be chalked up to 5 Star Movement’s fearmongering that the lawmakers are in cahoots with moguls who pay them dear cash.
But by putting the party at a distance from gambling, the 5 Star Movement are still hobnobbing with populists from across Europe. Gambling may not be the main ill the country has yet to endure, but this is a topic that’s too sensitive and would require actual political solutions, which the 5 Star Movement are simply inept to deliver. And so, gambling.
Gambling Ads End in 2019
And so, the new law will come into effect in 2019. On 1 January, gaming agencies will be asked to discontinue their operations. Additional leeway may be offered until July 2019. But sooner or later, all ads are supposed to disappear completely from the Internet, TV, and Radio, which indeed leaves little opportunity for casinos to advertise their activities.
Not only that, but agencies that have concluded partnerships with sporting organizations will have to cancel out their partnerships, which means more legal complications further down the road. The industry may also have to shed some jobs, which means that the overall percentage of jobless people in an already struggling economy will grow.
Indeed, turning on gambling in such a drastic method will be associated with genuine efforts to fight corruption, but the realities here are that 5 Star Movement are just using a temporary boost to their popularity, masquerading their inexperience at governance by throwing bombshells which are likely to be well-received by the general populous.