EGBA revê proibição de publicidade na Itália para combater jogos de apostas no mercado negro

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has called for a review of Italy‘s blanket ban on sports betting advertising after a new report found that the country’s gamblers spend €26.38 billion on gaming sites in the country. illegal market every year.

Published by Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport, the report estimates that 19 billion euros are bet on unlicensed gambling sites every year.

This, the report says, represents approximately 75% of all betting on the illegal market in Italy.

The EGBA estimates that more than €1 billion in gross gambling revenue is being lost every year to illegal websites.

This is equivalent to the combined regulated online gambling revenues of eight other European Union (EU) countries – Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta and Slovenia.

EGBA acknowledges that the Italian Customs and Monopolies Agency (ADM) has already taken action on this matter.

This year alone, ADM blocked more than 9,800 unlicensed websites, already 400 more than in the entire year 2022.

However, the EGBA remains concerned about the number of Italian players using unlicensed websites, especially those located outside the EU.

Because these sites do not offer the same or any consumer protections, this puts players at greater risk of harm.

For EGBA, lack of knowledge of approved operators can boost illegal market

As such, EGBA calls on the Italian authorities to do more to raise consumer awareness of these risks. This, he said, could include reviewing Italy’s general ban on gaming advertising.

There is currently a ban on all forms of gaming advertising in Italy. However, the EGBA states that a lack of knowledge among approved operators may be a determining factor in high rates of illegal gambling.

“The significant size of the Italian illegal online market is worrying but not surprising given that Italy has one of the strictest advertising regimes in Europe for its licensed gambling companies,” said EGBA Secretary General Maarten Haijer .

“The country’s ban on advertising licensed gaming operators is clearly favoring the illegal market. Without a sufficient level of advertising, there is no real way for Italians to know the difference between a gaming site that is licensed in Italy – and applies the country’s consumer protection rules – and one that is not,” says Maarten.

“It is clear that coercive measures against irregular operators are not enough. The government needs to review its gaming advertising rules to ensure that Italian citizens can be well informed about sites licensed in the country,” he concludes.

Italian football players face accusations of involvement in sports betting

The report comes at a time when Italy is facing something of a crisis in its football team. Several players violated the betting rules.

This week, the Italian Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office granted Juventus football player Nicolò Fagioli a seven-month suspension for football betting.

Two more Italy national team players, Newcastle United’s Sandro Tonali and Aston Villa’s Nicolo Zaniolo, were later revealed to be under investigation and were removed from the national team.