HomeGamblingItalian Authority Fines X for Gambling Ad Ban Breaches

Italian Authority Fines X for Gambling Ad Ban Breaches


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x_hi_-by_e1_35m_penalty_for_italian_gambling_ad_ban_breaches_X, the global social network formerly known as Twitter, has received a fine worth 1.35 million euros from an Italian authority after having breached the gambling advertising ban imposed by the country’s laws.

The Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni, the government body in charge of overseeing the communications industry in Italy, had issued the fine to Twitter International Unlimited Company, which is the corporation that owns X.

The social network allegedly violated the so-called “dignity decree”, which has been in place in Italy since 2019. The respective law bans any form of advertisement, sponsorship or communication of promotional content regarding sports betting or gambling.

The Italian authority found nine violations from verified accounts on the respective social network, accounts that have advertised websites that offer gambling and sports betting services with cash winnings. The reasoning behind the fine is closely related to the blue check mark which each of the nine accounts had, that made X liable for those accounts’ activities according to the Italian authorities.

Moreover, the authority has issued an order for access inhibition for two of the aforementioned nine accounts that are still active on the social network. Another inhibition order has been adopted for all further uploaded content that would be in breach of the regulations.

More Social Networks Fined

The decision to issue a fine for X (Twitter) comes just a few weeks after the Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni fined Meta, the company which owns Facebook and Instagram. In that case the fine was worth 5.58 million euros but the reason was the same: gambling advertising.

The Italian government authority found promotional content for gambling and sports betting on 18 different social media profiles, five on Instagram and thirteen on Facebook. Another 32 sponsored video and image posts were considered aimed at promoting or advertising online casinos or sports betting websites.

Similar penalties had previously been issued to Google, Twitch and YouTube. Google received a fine worth 700,000 euros in August 2022 for advertisements that appeared on the Spike YouTube channels. However, the Italian government authority did not specify which were the gambling operators advertised on the platform.

The gambling advertising ban imposed in Italy in 2019 has been loudly contested by football clubs in the country because many of them had partnerships in place with gambling and sports betting operators. The law still permits partnerships for sports teams but only when they are focused on other markets (mainly Asia) but football clubs in Italy’s top two leagues have argued that they have still lost income due to the ban.

Source: “X hit by €1.35m penalty for Italian gambling ad ban breaches“. iGaming Business. March 15, 2024.

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