At the company level, we have defined guidelines for the development of marketing communication campaigns, an internal procedure aimed at regulating the verification and approval of our communication campaigns, guaranteeing compliance with the rules and regulations regarding responsible gaming.
We constantly organise training courses for our partner communication agencies on responsible gaming issues, with the aim of keeping them regularly updated on regulatory changes and limitations that have come into force over the years and thus enable them to work in line with standards of fairness and responsibility.
Collaboration with the Institute of Advertising Self-Regulation (IAP)
At the gaming system level, we maintain continuous relationships with the institutions and regulatory bodies of the sector, as part of our ambition to develop ever stricter and consumer-friendlier regulations.
In particular, our collaboration with the Italian advertising standards authority, the Institute of Advertising Self-Regulation (Istituto di Autodisciplina Pubblicitaria - IAP), represents one of our most important partnerships. With their guidance, we were able to define a reference regulatory framework - the "Orientation guidelines for the marketing communication of cash-prize games” - a stricter and more systematic system governing the advertisement of games for operators that also guarantees consumers greater protection and greater awareness of their rights.
In 2016, this sectorial legislation was further reinforced with the entry into force of the Stability Law, which, in addition to setting out criteria and limitations on gaming on a similar scale to those enshrined in the IAP Code, introduced a ban on the broadcasting of advertisements for cash-prize games from 7AM to 10PM every day during general-audience radio and television broadcasts.
The Institute of Advertising Self-Regulation introduces specific legislation for the gaming sector (art. 28 ter), setting out fairness criteria for marketing communication, such as a ban on encouraging excessive gambling, the targeting of minors or suggesting that gambling can solve financial problems. As the Balduzzi Decree (Legislative Decree no. 158 of 13 September 2021) came into effect, it became illegal to “incite or glorify gambling”. The Customs and Monopolies Agency also first stipulated guidelines concerning the manner in which licence-holders must enact the relevant provisions, primarily relating to winning odds and the phraseology of warnings.
The European Commission approves a series of principles that member states are requested to integrate into their legislature on gaming, albeit not prohibiting the advertisement of gaming altogether, reaffirming self-regulation as an effective instrument of soft law (Recommendation 2014/478/EU).
With the publication of the “Orientation guidelines for the marketing communication of cash-prize games”, the Institute of Advertising Self-Regulation alters its scope to align with practices of other European countries and with the European Commission’s recommendations. Sisal, as part of the Italian gaming system, contributed actively to the new framework, which as a result included a specific article governing advertising messages related to gaming.
The gaming sector’s regulatory framework is further reinforced by the Stability Law, which set out criteria and limitations on gaming in a similar scope to those enshrined in the Institute of Advertising Self-Regulation Code, and moreover regulated advertisements for cash-prize games as well as limits concerning the type of programme that advertisements may accompany and permissible timeslots for such advertisements.
On 7 September 2017, the United Conference (uniting state, regions and municipalities) discussed possible amendments in the area of “public gaming”, including the possibility of establishing rigorous rules on games advertisement, guaranteeing a homogenous framework throughout the country. This dialogue arises from the current multiplicity of laws and regional, provincial and municipal regulations. The aim of the exchange was to pass a ministerial decree to reconstruct the overall structure of the gaming regulatory framework.
As the so-called Dignity Decree (Legislative Decree no. 87 12 July 2017 converted with amendments into Law no. 96 9 August 2018) came into force, business in the gaming sector were prohibited from using any form of advertising for betting or cash-prize games on any large-scale medium. The law also stipulated new and specific requirements concerning the phraseology of warnings and the protection of minors. It is moreover now forbidden to sponsor events, activities, rallies, TV programs, products or services, or employ any other forms of communication with promotional content, notwithstanding any ongoing advertising contracts until their termination but, in any case, no later than 14 July 2019.