The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has suggested that the country’s ban on betting sponsorship and advertising should be eased temporarily to assist the sports industry to regain lost revenue.
As a result of the government’s decision, the complete gamut of commercial promotion, including product placements, distribution of branded objects, and influencer marketing, has been banned in Italy from January 1, 2019.
Despite this, Italian football teams have been able to establish agreements with corporations in alternative markets outside of Italy, and any agreements made before to the policy’s adoption were permitted to come to fruition.
Reduction of gambling licences
The Italian government of Prime Minister Mario Draghi has been increasing pressure on the country’s betting and gaming industry, announcing plans this year to reduce the number of gambling licences from 85 to 50 by 2023, prompting the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) to file a complaint with the European Commission (EC) demanding an explanation.
Gabriele Gravina, President of the FIGC, commenting on the sponsorship prohibition, said: “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.”
The FIGC has urged that the ban measures be lifted for at least two years, until June 30, 2023, to allow the industry to recoup lost earnings.
Furthermore, the league has argued for the development of a Football Savings Fund, which would see 1 percent of all online and in-person sports bets in Italy paid to a national fund controlled by the FIGC, with the objective of funding sporting football projects across the country, with a deadline of 30 June 2023.
Tax and contribution relief caveats, faster access to measures supporting sports clubs’ finances, and “dedicated procedures” for installation payments and settlement of football clubs’ tax debts with the Italian Revenue Agency are among the additional measures.