Italian sports leadership has urged the government to restore betting ads to help professional leagues, sports clubs, athletes and other stakeholders in handling COVID-19 disruptions for a 12 month period.
LEGA Serie A Governance has led the call for a partial suspension of the Integrity Decree restrictions on gambling marketing and sponsorship.
Since July 2019 all Italian sports leagues have been required to comply with the provision of the Decree banning all sponsorships and commercial collaborations linked to gambling.
Originally established by the former Lega-5Star coalition government taking office in July 2018, the mandate of the Dignity Decree was creating a ‘new civic contract’ for Italian business and society.
dDespite being in government for less than a year, the Lega-5Star alliance has instituted ‘Europe’s strictest ce on ogambling’ – with Decree advertisement limits upheld by current PM Giuseppe Conte.
Last week, Italian media announced that Serie A leadership had urged the Conte government to drop limitations on the Decree, arguing that Italian football clubs needed support in finding ‘post-crisis business solutions’.
Crying foul of the terms of the Decree, Serie A Governance reiterated its reported stance that Italian football would be deprived € 100 million in critical revenues from betting sponsorship and advertisement.
The call for Series A was backed by Giovanni Malagò, chairman of the Olympic Committee of Italy, who told media: “We are in an emergency and instead of asking for money, it is appropriate to restart any potential marketing action with the betting companies. I have always been totally against the ban, which weakened our teams and our sports facilities.”
Criticism of the decree’s ban on advertisement and sponsorship has been far-reaching since its implementation. Italian media agency AGCOM questioned the policy conditions with Lega-5Star, branding these initiatives as ‘unconstitutional and incompatible’ with Italian business laws.
Given all-round pleas for suspension of the Decree, PM Giuseppe Conte is heading a fragmented coalition created by the Democratic Party of Italy and the anti-gambling 5Star Movement.
Coalition terms determined by 5Star emphasise that gambling controls defined by the Dignity Decree must be preserved by a Conte government as an immutable condition governing Italy.
5Star Leader Francesco Silvestri, speaking in Parliament, reiterated the stance of his party to the appeal of Italian sports, by saying: “The 5Star Movement has always been against gambling, as well as gaming advertising. For us, there is no way to step back from the ban.”