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Serie A expresses ‘extreme worry’ over ban on gambling-related ads in Italy

Serie A has expressed “extreme worry” after the approval of a new decree that would see a blanket ban on any gambling-related advertising in Italy.

The Decreto Dignita, which was approved by Italy’s council of ministers on Monday, will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2019.

All advertising of gambling-related products and services will be banned, while sports clubs will also be prohibited from carrying sponsors from that industry. Those with existing agreements will be granted concessions to honour their contracts, while the decree excludes the state-run national lottery.

It will impact directly on sport, especially football, where more than half the Italian clubs in top-tier Serie A have a sponsorship deal with a betting company.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

“The Lega Serie A is following with extreme worry the developments of the ‘Decreto Legge Dignita’ and the impact on Italian football of rules which ban advertising from betting firms,” said the governing body in a statement.35

“In highlighting the clear disparity compared to other countries in Europe and the world, where such bans don’t exist, and showing the negative consequences of such a measure, the Lega Serie A points out that in the 2017-18 season 12 top-flight clubs had a partnership agreement with companies from the betting sector.”

It said football clubs would lose millions of euros worth of sponsorship.

More money could also be lost from a knock-on effect on revenue from the sale of television rights as TV companies would not be able to sell advertising slots at high prices to gambling firms during games.nike jerseys nfl cheap

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), which represents the leading privately owned European online betting and gaming operators, told The Associated Press that “each year gambling operators contribute about €120 million ($140m) to sponsor sports teams and leagues in Italy.”

Serie A’s governing body pointed to the success of the Premier League and warned of lost money for Italian teams.

“In the Premier League, identified by everyone as the benchmark for its ability to generate resources, 45 percent of clubs have a gaming firm as a shirt sponsor and in all the stadiums, on screens pitchside, there is advertising from betting companies,” its statement said. “Prohibiting the firms from this sector to invest in advertising in our country would bring competitive disadvantages to Italian clubs, directing abroad advertising budgets meant for our teams.”