Italy: Watchdog launches investigation into Google over online gambling offers

Google is being investigated to determine whether or not it is flouting Italy’s ban on gambling ads.

THE country’s communications authority AgCom launched an inquiry into Google Inc, Google Ireland Limited and Google Italy over advertisements for foreign gambling operators that appear in Google results.

Two years ago, Italy introduced its Dignity Decree, which imposed a blanket ban on practically all forms of gambling advertising.

This was followed this year by a new additional tax on sports betting.

It appears AgCom wants to determine whether or not the decree covers search results which put adverts for foreign gambling operators at the top of the results page.

It had been expected to dismiss the case but has now announced that it has requested further information, reports Focus Gambling News, revealing that the majority of cases taken on by AgCom since 2018 have centred around ‘bonus offers’ on operators’ websites.

So fat, the authority has taken action against companies on five occasions, determining that the ‘bonus offers’ count as advertising.

In July, an Italian-licensed operator stumped up €16,000 following an investigation in which AgCom argued the ‘offer’ included ‘graphics typical of promotional communication’.

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Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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