Google avoids fine over gambling content in Italy

Italy introduced a ban on gambling advertising in 2019.
Italy introduced a ban on gambling advertising in 2019.

The Administrative Court of Lazio ruled that Google did not breach rules.

Italy. The Administrative Court of Lazio has ruled that the Italian communications watchdog AGCOM must drop a €750,000 fine levied against Google over gambling-related content. The court found that Google did not breach the rules of Italy’s Dignity Decree.

The Dignity Degree implemented in 2019 bans all forms of gambling advertising in Italy. AGCOM argued that Google had breached the law because search results and its video-sharing platform YouTube had displayed links promoting gambling. However, Google appealed to the Lazio court arguing that the links were promoted by independent advertisers using its platforms, not by Google directly.

The Lazio Court found that Google had been “effective and competent” in removing illegal gambling content and in updating its advertising terms.

Meanwhile, Italy is advancing with a reorganisation of gambling. Mario Lollobrigida, head of gaming at Italy’s Agency of Customs and Monopolies (ADM), is to lead the next phase of Italy’s planned gambling reforms following the Italian Senate’s approval of the country’s Tax Delegation Law. The ADM is expected to submit a draft of legislative decrees by September 20.

The Tax Delegation Law aimed to prepare the way for a reorganisation of tax duties and the introduction of new player protection measures “to create a more transparent and accountable industry”.

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