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LeoVegas lodges complaint with EU over Italy advertising ban

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LeoVegas has filed a formal complaint with the European Union over Italy’s controversial ban on gambling advertisements.

The Dignity Decree, which was passed in August and comes into effect on January 1, 2019, has met with significant opposition from the gaming and wagering industry.

The law prohibits betting companies and casino operators from advertising, marketing, or in any way promoting their products on TV, radio, or the internet.

That includes a blanket ban on all sponsorship arrangements, including a number of high-profile deals with football teams and other sporting clubs.

The only exemption from the new legislation is Italy’s state-owned lottery – a fact that has many in the industry crying foul.

The Italian government has shown no signs of budging, however, and now LeoVegas director Niklas Lindahl is following through on his promise to get EU lawmakers involved.

“At LeoVegas we are working on a European Union level now,” he told Gambling Insider in August.

“We have filed a claim and the European Commission is working with this claim, because the decree has violated several EU laws.

“We are confident the EU will see how Italy can be affected and our hope is that the EU will sit down and talk with them and say: ‘Hey, you cannot do this and the law has to be changed.”

Although the Dignity Decree kicks in at the turn of the year, bookmakers and online casinos with existing advertising contracts may continue to promote their products until July 2019.

LeoVegas is hoping to have the law overturned within the next 12 months.

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