Italy

Italy urged to suspend gambling sponsorship ban

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has called on the country’s government to suspend a ban on gambling sponsorship in football.

The introduction of the ban

On January 1, 2019, Italy introduced a ban on gambling advertisements. Any marketing campaigns launched prior to this date were given permission to run their course.

Under this ban, all direct and indirect advertising and sponsorship and promotional communications are prohibited in the country. The ban also forbids all types of commercial communications including product placements, the distribution of branded items, and influencer marketing.

Despite these restrictions banning Italian brands from working with Italian teams, a number of clubs have reached deals with companies in alternative markets.

A desperate plea  

The FIGC has reached out to the government to ask for a temporary lift on the ban. In its proposal, it requests a minimum of a two-year lift to allow the industry to recuperate lost funds.

The proposal also outlines plans for a Football Savings Fund. This would require 1% of all online and in-person sports bets in Italy to be sent to a national fund managed by the FIGC. This money would then contribute towards financing football projects across the country.

FIGC president, Gabriele Gravina, implied the lift was necessary to save the sports gambling industry: “We are at a crossroads; we must act quickly to prevent the professional football crisis from obliging the clubs to block their activity, thus bringing the entire sports sector to its knees, the companies of the 12 product sectors connected to it and the entire country system, with an undesirable decrease in direct and indirect tax contributions, he said.

“We did not ask the government for refreshments, rather to recognise the socio-economic importance that football has through the adoption of some urgent measures to relieve the clubs from the crisis generated by Covid-19. Football can play a decisive role in Italy’s overall recovery.”

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