New Communication Strategies for Italian Operators in the Face of Strict Gambling-Related Advertising Restrictions

New Communication Strategies for Italian Operators in the Face of Strict Gambling-Related Advertising Restrictions

Back in 2018, the Italian authorities issued the “Decreto Dignità” – which translates as the Dignity Decree. It imposed severe restrictions on the advertising abilities of online casinos. As well as direct advertising, the ban extended to sponsorships, the marketing of gambling services and products, plus advertising via conventional and online billboards.

The decree is not the only measure that has impacted the ability of online casinos to increase awareness of their products. The COVID-19 pandemic has also played a big part. Although with lockdown restrictions and people being forced to stay and work from home, many sought diversions from the resulting boredom by taking up online gaming.

Another blow for the industry was a 5% hike in iGaming license tax, meaning that companies now face having to pay 25% tax on their GGR (Gross Gaming Revenue).

But the online gaming industry is renowned for its innovative nature, and the enforced impositions brought that character into play. In the words of the old saying – “invention is the mother of necessity,” and so it has proved.

The industry has now turned its attention towards Italy’s conventional, land-based retail sector with a dual focus. Firstly, legal associations with Italian retailers will enable online gambling operators to apply for an AAMS license. This license guarantees them a legal presence in the country, a presence that can be used to increase brand awareness and ensure enhanced customer protection.

It also means that they can strengthen their foothold by being part of the customer omnichannel experience. More updated information on various casinos will be available, allowing potential players to select which channel suits their needs best at any one point in time.

Online casinos have made use of affiliate marketing in the past, and this is now something that is being given an even greater focus. With more affiliate marketing websites and links crowding cyberspace, the need is growing for more comparison sites.

Typically, these sites deal with any online casinos that need affiliate marketing services. They enable visitors to their sites to view information on many different online casinos all on one page. Wannabee gamblers can compare the different welcome bonus deals, the types of games or sports available, how quickly players can get their winnings, etc.

Because these affiliate sites contain informative materials without publishing explicit call-to-action comments, they operate legally under the “informative communications” category.

Players can also find information about which payment systems the casinos work with and select e-wallets or cryptocurrencies that allow instant withdrawals and give users a greater degree of anonymity and protection from prying eyes.

The leading brands now include information channels on these websites, often in the form of blogs, offering channels other than just classic online games.

From these particular points of view, the Dignity Decree has affected online gambling positively. Yes, it has made it that much harder for online casinos to advertise. Still, through their innovative outlook, these platforms have responded by using other channels that provide gamblers with essential information to improve their gambling experiences.

Another positive moment from the player’s viewpoint is that the strict rules regarding advertising online gambling have forced the hand of brands to veer away from adverts promoting and gambling messages to now having to include messages and advice on responsible gambling. It’s something that most leading brands cared about, but not in such an overt way. That is no longer the case.

Tighter control over online gambling is not just limited to the Italian market. Spain has also imposed stricter regulations, and the UK is also in the process of doing so. But as the so-called Italian Dignity Degree came into force nearly three years ago, the Italian online gambling providers have had more time to adjust.

The result is that as well as developing new, subtle ways of promoting their activities, leading online gambling brands are publishing socially responsible campaigns on B2B sites that will benefit the industry and the players.

Read more: Top Affiliate Networks in Nordic Countries

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