Home NewsRegulations & Licenses The X Group is fined EUR1.35m for violating the Italian Gambling Ad Ban

The X Group is fined EUR1.35m for violating the Italian Gambling Ad Ban

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X (formerly Twitter) has been fined by the Italian government for violating the ban on gambling advertisements.

Italy’s Autorita per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni (Agcom) has imposed a fine of EUR1.35m on X’s owner, Twitter International Unlimited Company. X violated the so-called 2019 “dignity directive”. The “dignity decree” of 2019 prohibits all forms of advertising, sponsorship and communication that present promotional content related to gambling or games.

Agcom discovered nine violations in X verified accounts. These accounts advertised gaming sites and bets with the possibility of cash prizes. Agcom stated that the fact these accounts were marked with a blue check rendered X liable.

The agency added that they have now issued an order to restrict access for two accounts still active on this platform. Agcom also passed an order to prevent any further illegal content from being uploaded. The nine accounts had notified Agcom of their dispute.

This decision was made just weeks after Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, received a EUR5,58m fine for advertising gambling. Agcom found promotional material for gambling and gaming on 18 profiles. Five of these were on Instagram, and thirteen on Facebook. This included 32 videos and images sponsored by the regulator to promote or advertise online gambling and betting.

Google, Twitch, and YouTube have also been penalized by the authority. Google received a EUR 700,000 fine for breaking the ban. This was in August 2022. This fine was for ads appearing on Top Ads Spike channels of YouTube, however Agcom didn’t specify which gambling operators were advertised or what products.

Football clubs have been particularly affected by the wide-ranging ad prohibition in Italy that was imposed in 2019. Several of them had previously worked with gambling operators. Although partnerships focusing on other markets, such as Asia, are permitted to continue to exist. However clubs and football associations have asked for the ban be lifted due to loss of revenue.

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