Another major advertising medium has changed its policies for advertising gambling products in Italy after Google AdWords informed last week Italy-facing advertisers that they will no longer be able to promote gambling products and services in the country.
Following the recent approval of the so-called Dignity Decree (Decreto dignità), a 29-page piece of legislation that, among other things, provides for the implementation of a blanket ban on gambling advertising in the country, Facebook has begun informing Italy-facing operators and businesses advertising gambling services that it has changed its advertising policies to prohibit advertising activities targeting Italy.
Under Facebook’s general advertising policies:
Adverts that promote or facilitate online real money gambling, real money games of skill or real money lotteries, including online real money casinos, sport books, bingo or poker, are only allowed with prior written permission.
The social media company has informed Italy-facing advertisers as well as operators licensed to operate in the country who are advertising their products to Italian customers that it has decided to revoke all prior written permissions issued to those regarding their Italian operations. It is also understood that the new advertising policies are set to take effect in the next few days and will concern both Facebook pages that advertise gambling products to Italian gamblers as well as Facebook ads that target that same demographic.
News about Facebook banning Italy-facing gambling adverts arrive just a week after Google AdWords prohibited such adverts to show full compliance with the Dignity Decree. Here it is important to note that the full ban on gambling advertising is actually yet to take effect in Italy. This is slated to happen on January 1, 2019.
Acquisitions and Expansion
A separate rollout of news from Italy from the past several days shows that the looming ads ban has not deterred local gambling company Gamenet Group from pursuing consolidation in its domestic market. The company, formed by the acquisition of Intralot Holding and Servces S.p.A. by Gamenet S.p.A. in 2016, announced that it would acquire sports betting operator GoldBet for €240 million.
GoldBet operates 1,700 betting shops around the country, which accounts for a fifth of Italy’s retail betting market. The company also owns an online betting business, which equals to around 7% of Italy’s lucrative Internet betting sector.
While Gamenet is looking to strengthen its positions in its domestic market, Snaitech S.p.A., which was recently acquired by online gambling giant Playtech for €840 million, announced that it would expand into the Spanish gambling market. The company has recently been issued a license by the local gambling regulator Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ) for the provision of B2B services.
Snaitech also noted that it has formed a partnership with Spanish gambling operator Apuestas de España for the launch of a joint online business, Apuestas by SNAI.
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