By a vote of 155 in favor and 125 against, the Italian Senate has approved the “Dignity Decree” which, among other sweeping social changes, places a complete ban on all forms of gambling advertising.
The new law is the first major economic legislation for Italy’s new coalition government, which was sworn in just three months ago.
“After decades, we have the first decree that was not written by economic lobbyists and vested interests,” said Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio. “Today Italy sets a record in Europe: The first country to have abolished gambling advertising.”
A blanket ban is expected to severely impact the gambling industry, especially the online sector, many gaming operators and industry bodies have stated. There are also serious concerns that any restriction over licensed operators will lead to growth of unlicensed and black market operators.
The Dignity Decree was first approved by the Council of Ministers on July 2, and passed through the house on August 2, in a vote 312 in favor, 190 against. The final approval from the Senate on Tuesday clears the last major hurdle for the law to be adopted; it now just needs to be published in the official Gazette to enter law.