October 23, 2020
Since the Dignity Decree was implemented at the start of 2019, there has been limited scope for gambling advertising in Italy. The Decree is very wide-ranging, which essentially rules out all advertising for betting and gaming which result in cash prizes.
On 22 October, Google found itself on the wrong end of the Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni (AGCOM), Italy’s communications regulator, to the tune of €100,000 (according to Reuters).
AGCOM said Google allowed a paid ad for an online casino to show up on its search results, in particular, Google “has spread the paid announcement of the sublimecasino.com site that carries out gaming and betting activities with cash winnings”.
Importantly for Google and other advertising intermediaries, the press release seems to suggest that Google Ireland is not able to claim any ‘hosting’ defence, which is a wake-up call not just for advertisers engaging intermediaries to help navigate the ban but also to platforms like Google, based in Ireland, who are offering advertising services to operators throughout Europe.