Geronimo Cardia: Territorial issue – Prohibitions on legal gambling as set forth by local regulations


I have been asked to sum up the conversation concerning the conflict between, on the one hand, the territorial, regional, county and municipal law and, on the other, the national law. I will gladly do so, as in Part One. I would also like to thank “Gioco News”, in particular Alessio Crisantemi, who has been highly receptive to the various comments I made. Nevertheless, I believe it is important to briefly and consistently summarize my thoughts concerning such issues, thoughts which I developed over a long period of time.

Since 2011, legal gambling operators have been trying to highlight at all levels (judicial, cultural, press) how the laws concerning the allocation and distribution arrangements of legal gambling services enacted by different institutions (such as Regional, County, Municipality – the latter having to comply with regional and county laws if existing) are inadequate, inapplicable and illegitimate. Such phenomenon impacts the legal effects of said laws.

First of all, despite the fact that this question seems to be a cause of concern only for territorial law, the said issue is very important, especially because it has reached the national level. There are many regional and county anti-legal gambling laws [1], and even more municipal measures [2].

Secondly, this issue is particularly important because it affects an entire industry and all its related activities. The existing laws mainly damage legal gambling operators, while, depending on the initiative, state licensed operators, providers, slot and video lottery vendors, bets and bingo providers – no one excluded, together with every technology supplier, manufactures and everyone else involved – are also penalised

Thirdly, it is important to focus on this because fit and fair regulations – just as much as unfit and unfair regulations – of legal gambling inevitably impacts on the health, public order and individual state revenue.

Throughout the years the territorial law has introduced a series of disincentives to the allocation of legal gambling services and a series of restrictions on them. Among others there are the following: (i) a minimum distance between slot machine and sensitive locations (ii) time restrictions (iii) absolute advertising ban. Such impediments concern both existing and future business.

The legal gambling operators have always pointed out some crucial aspects of the above-mentioned limitations.

Firstly, an analysis of the current measures adopted in different locations reveal that: (i) the minimum distance varies from one place to another (either because of the different minimum distance imposed, or due to different sensible locations) (ii) different time restrictions (either because of the different total amount of allowed hours, or because of the different daily schedule) (iii) different advertising ban (considering that the ban is absolute only in some cases, or that the benchmark has to be set according to national standards, or because it is unnecessary).

Secondly, the inquiry acknowledges that the targeted public interest varied from one place to another. In some cases, the law cited health as its target, in others the goal was the protection of the weaker segments of society, furthermore the objective was public order, finally the law cited urban traffic.

Thirdly, it has emerged that these provisions are not adequate for finding a solution to the issue raised. For example, it seems that the banning of the opening of new gambling facilities does not necessarily protect health nor the weaker segment of society, since that there may not be restrictions in the surrounding areas. Moreover, another example is that it has been proven that time restrictions on bakeries does not necessarily reduce the number or people affected by diabetes. There are many viable solutions, but this another matter and we will deal with it another time.

Fourthly, it has been stressed that, for law enforcement purpose, the national law establishes and will continue to establish regulations on legal gambling by the so called “quota decrees”. Such decrees provide for explicit prohibitions for minors, time restrictions enforced by the local authorities, and advertising restrictions.

Lastly, since 2011 what has been vociferously pointed out is that instead of regulating the allocation and the distribution arrangement of legal gambling services, the existing local laws actually prohibits such activities. This phenomenon is in clear contrast with the national law that has been moving towards the regulation of such matters rather than pursuing a prohibitionist strategy.

Having said that, we will now proceed to analyze the existing advertising ban laws. There is not much to comment about it rather than aside from the fact that a ban concerning non-regulated ads practically prohibits the promotion of legal gambling. Moreover, different laws are put in place in different areas. For example, if one chooses to sponsor its activities on a nation-wide TV channel, how can one pretend to black out the add in the areas where there are such restrictions? Apart from the fact that the ban is in violation of the principle of advertising regulation , as clarified by the so called Balduzzi Decree [3] and from the 2016 Budget Law [4], a study suggests that there are many problems connected to the conflict between regional and city laws in contrast with the national ones. Such discrepancies must be solved in a clear and fast manner.

The following regions are affected by such problem:

  • Liguria [5]
  • Lazio [6]
  • Lombardy[7]
  • Tuscany[8]
  • Abruzzo[9]
  • Puglia[10]
  • Friuli Venezia Giulia[11]
  • Autonomous Provinces of Trento and Bolzano[12]

Moving on to the next topic, it is important to note that the term time restrictions seems to be an understatement. Indeed, there are cases in which, out of 24 hours, the law allows only 5 hours a day of opening hours in Naples for example Moreover, what seems to be the most important issue is the macroscopic impact of the crowding out effect of the minimum distance laws.

Instead of regulating the allocation of legal gambling service over a specific area, the Territorial Law completely bans it.

Rather than identifying the restricted areas where the allocation of legal gambling is prohibited (as stated in the preamble to Territorial Law) it instead establishe an unlawful prohibition.

In other words, because of the extent of the ban and of the high number of sensible spots identified, it turns out that there are practically no available areas throughout the entire territory where legal gambling can be practiced.

In order to demonstrate the crowding out effect legal operators and trade associations have often asked experts to assess such a phenomenon. The analysis demonstrates that, in 100% of the  cases examined, the extent of the prohibition was almost a 100% of the territory in question. The case studies are the following:

  1. Crowding out effect legal report Naples
  2. Crowding out effect legal report Bari
  3. Crowding out effect legal report Genova
  4. Crowding out effect legal report Florence
  5. Crowding out effect legal report Trento
  6. Crowding out effect legal report Bolzano
  7. Crowding out effect legal report Milan[13]
  8. Crowding out effect legal report Vicenza
  9. Crowding out effect legal report Vigevano
  10. Crowding out effect legal report Sulmona
  11. Crowding out effect legal report Lodi
  12. Crowding out effect legal report Pioltello
  13. Crowding out effect legal report San Michele
  14. Crowding out effect legal report Riva del Garda
  15. Crowding out effect legal report Mori
  16. Crowding out effect legal report Mezzolombardo
  17. Crowding out effect legal report Mezzocorona
  18. Crowding out effect legal report Condino
  19. Crowding out effect legal report Campitello di Fassa
  20. Crowding out effect legal report Recco
  21. Crowding out effect legal report Borgo Valsugana

For this reason, in Part Two of this paper we provide a document in which the latest colour- based charts of the restricted areas subjected to such provisions. The analysis of the said chart points to the fact that the areas affected by interdiction correspond to essentially 100% of the territory in question. In this regard, I want to thank the Menato and Meneghetti Firm in Padua that, throughout all of these years, have promptly and efficiently carried out the fundamental and complicated technical assessments and authorized its publishing. Finally, I would also like to thank the operators and the trade associations involved.

It has been often pointed out that the Territorial Law, instead of identifying some restricted areas (creating the so called “leopard skin effect” because of the predominance of black spots on its fur), has blocked the distribution of legal gambling in the entire territory (creating the so called “panther skin effect” because of its monochromatic fur).

Moreover, contrary to what has often been affirmed, the crowding out effect has not only impacted the new business but also more pertinently the existing ones. It is impossible to open new gaming rooms because the new ones will  most likely be in one of the many forbidden areas. Instead, with regard to the existing ones, they will soon be impacted by the crowding out effect due to the five-year license regime. This is already happening in the County of Bolzano, where since 2011 the Territorial Law has established a five-year license.

The same thing is going to happen soon to the existing supplying betting services business also because of their license regime, which are soon to expire and are not going to be renewed, but will remain banned as set out by Stability Law 2016.

In other words, despite the fact that the operators meet the standards required by law and have the right to open a betting business (and have also paid the related fees), the authorizations will be rejected because their location is placed in a restricted area of. Moreover, they also do not have the possibility to move their business into another area because the ban is applicable essentially everywhere.

The expulsion of all legal gambling operators from the examined areas has important consequences on both the private sector and public interest.

Concerning the private sector, the expulsion of legal operators causes big losses in terms of profits and in terms of damages for the business itself, which in turn produces negative consequences on direct employment as well as on the entire industrial complex.

Moreover, for what concerns the public interest, notice that the exclusion of lawful operators creates a series of permanent effect on public safety, health and State revenues. This is true due to the following.

(i) The State revenues are directly and proportionally affected by betting and gaming taxes (for example the one-off tax withdrawal, concession fees and others) because such taxes are based on a certain percentage of the total volume of legal gambling.

(ii) Moreover, the State revenues are also affected by the fact that, because the operators can no longer carry out their activities they no longer generate profits. Therefore, the State loose income taxes.

(iii) It becomes clear now that all the time and space taken away from legal gambling, will be at the disposal of illegal gambling operators, which are able to meet the demand. Such phenomenon can be proven by simply reading the news.

(iv) Furthermore, contrary to legal gambling, illegal gambling leads to the spread of illegal games. Indeed, the second ones latter fall short of those mechanism put in place in order to curb the spreading of gambling disorders.

All these aspects can violate important legal principles imposed by the National Law, as in the examples following examples.

(i)The prohibitions of legal gambling on the examined areas must be assessed also in light of the violation of the statutory reserve that it produces. Indeed, the crowding out effect impedes the implementation of National Law which allows for the regulation and not the prohibition of gambling.

To overcome this problem, it is not by chance that the Balduzzi’s Decree and the 2016 Stability Law call for an end of such phenomenon through to the actions of the Joint Session (“Conferenza Unificata”) by proposing the deadline on April, the 30th 2016[14] .

(ii) The Territorial Law and the crowding out effect it determines are in conflict with the “subsidiarity principle” that allows the State, acting as legislator, and in compliance with the principle of fair cooperation (i) to exert its regulatory power even on a concurrent legislative competence, by defining the principles with which the local legislation has to comply with and (ii) to confer at the central level the administrative function when, according to parameter of dominance, it is a concurrent  or residual regional competence.

The need of a “uniformed application” of the subsidiary principle, from the State’s point of view, emerges (i) from various and concurrent elements of the legal system; (ii) from the Balduzzi Decree and (iii) from Art. 14 of the Fiscal Proxy Law 11 March 2014, no. 23; (iv) from the said 2016 Stability Law (art. 1, paragraph 936); (v) from Title V of the Italian Constitution; (vi) from the Bill 7 July 2015, no. 2000, submitted by PD ( the Italian “Partito Democratico”, Democratic Party) senators. Therefore, the above-mentioned “uniformed application” of the subsidiary principle arises both from regulatory measures and from measures that have not been approved yet.

(iii) It has even been noted that the Territorial Law and its crowding out effect are in conflict with Art. 17, paragraph III, last clause of the Constitution that states “In the case of concurrent legislative competences, the regulatory power is entitled to the Regions, except for the fixation of fundamental principles which is exclusively entitled to the State’s legislation“. In addition, it often recalled that settled case-law concerning the electromagnetic fields and the need of installing mobile telephone masts, affirm that local and territorial institutions are not allowed to exceed the limits set by National Law.

(iv) Moreover, the Constitution affirms that the legislative competences regarding the fixation of fundamental health services standards and the political and social rights, are exclusively entitled to the national authority, to ensure equal treatments throughout the entire Nation, as per Art. 117, paragraph 2, letter m).

(v) Last but not least, with reference to the violation of the principle of free enterprise as put forth by Art. 41 of the Constitution, the crowding out effect is due to the impossibility of implementing legal gambling services in the said areas. Such effect it is not a proportionate one and it is over-demanding because it causes the complete ceasing of this business activity. If, as it has been proven, the private individual can’t provide for the legal gambling services anywhere in the said area, because of the Territorial Law, we are not only talking about a partial effort but about an “over-demanding sacrifice” and this leads to a complete state of imbalance towards the private citizen.

The Italian jurisprudence is starting to take into account such a phenomenon. Among others, it is worth recalling a recent decision, together with the pending lawsuit in examination by the Constitutional Court to declare the constitutional invalidity of Art. 7, Puglia’s Provincial Law 13 December 2013, no. 43 about “Counter-action to the spread of gambling addiction“, because in contrast with Art. 117, paragraph 2, letter h and Art. 117, paragraph 3 of the Italian Constitution.

With reference to two same decisions of the Council of State (section III, 10 February 2016, no. 578 and no. 579), which provide for needs an adequate motivation and of an in-depth investigation during the preliminary phase. Both sentences declared unlawful the apodictic fixation of distance between sensible spots, when lacking of an appropriate investigation about the effective manifestation of gambling disorders over the territory, and when lacking an adequate evaluation of whether the established distance is proportionate and maintainable “as it doesn’t impede new gambling stores’ allocations and the availability of alternative locations, in view of possible transfer of active business“, in relation to the huge amount of sensible spots identified.

As confirmed by the decision issued at first instance by the Emilia Romagna’s Regional Administrative Court, which granted the appeal of a manager against the rules fixed by Bologna’s Municipality, the Council of State observed that “in this case, despite the fact that the distance between the game halls is aimed at spacing out the places in which we can find the subjects needing for protection, and despite that the distance is based on a generally shared parameter, it lacks of a technical norm which actually measures the real effectiveness of said distance (…) Bologna’s Municipality should have analyzed more in detail the incidence of gambling disorders throughout its own territory, according to it assess what is the adequate distance to abide by, in conjunction to the true dimension of the phenomenon it want to oppose, and verify if such distance is proportionate and maintainable, so that it could not impede the opening of new gaming rooms or and the possibility of finding an alternative locations in light of possible transfer of existing ones. It is possible to affirm that an abuse of discretion has occurred in this case. Nevertheless, the plaintiff Municipality has not made clear the reason for it, nor has it done in in the documents on the record“.

In conclusion, it is possible to affirm that we should start from these case-laws, together with the works of the Joined Session, to re-establish balance in this sector and provide the right regulations and the right protection for citizens and consumers, providing a definitive solution to the paradox of prohibitionist Regional Administrative Law (here recalled on the Part Three) and of prohibitionist Municipal Administrative Law (here recalled in the Part Four).

[1] Puglia’s R.L. n. 43/2013, Piedmont’s R.L. n. 1/2014, R.L. Lombardy’s R.L. n. 11/2015 and n. 8/2013, Friuli Venezia Giulia’s R.L. n. 1/2014, Valle d’Aosta’s R.L. n.14/2015, Veneto’s R.L n. 6/2015, Liguria’s R.L. n. 17/2012, Emilia Romagna’s R.L. n.5/2013, Tuscany R.L. 57/2013 and n. 85/2014, Lazio’s R.L. n. 5/2013, Umbria’s R.L. 21/2014, Abruzzo’s R.L. n. 40/2013, Campania’s R.L. n. 1/2016, Basilicata’s R.L. n. 30/2014, Trentino’s R.L. n. 13/2015, Alto Adige’s R.L. n. 13/2010.

[2] Regulation adopted by Naples City Council decision n. 71/2015; Regulation adopted by Lodi City Council decision n. 112/2015; Regulation adopted by Genova City Council decision n. 21/2013; Florence City Council regulation n. 1/2011; Bologna City Council ordinance n.140904/2015; Milan City Council ordinance n. 63/2014; Terni City Council ordinance n. 84869/2010; Regulation adopted by Vicenza City Council decision n. 62/86323 of 2011; Regulation adopted by Pitonello City Council decision n. 26/2012; Regulation adopted by La Spezia City Council decision n.1/2012; Regulation adopted by Imperia City Council decision of 18.2.2010; Regulation adopted by Recco City Council decision n.3/2008 as amendments; Salerno City Council ordinance n. 42421/2011; Umbria City Council ordinance n. 29700/2010; Regulation adopted by Riva del Garda decision n. 21/2013; Regulation adopted by Padua City Council decision n. 34/2010; Regulation adopted by Trento City Council decision n. 56/2012; Regulation adopted by Ventimiglia City Council decision n. 75/2014; Regulation adopted by Lecco City Council decision n. 33/2011; Regulation adopted by Valamadrera City Council decision n. 56/2014; Regulation adopted by Borgo Valsugana decision n. 32/2012; Regulation adopted by Gavello City Council decision n. 34/2012; Regulation adopted by Olgiate Olona decision n. 39/2010; Regulation adopted by Serravalle Pistoiese decision n. 19/2010; Regulation adopted by Brescia City Council decision n. 153/36849 of 2010; Regulation adopted by Bra City Council decision n. 16/2011; Regulation adopted by Bovezzo City Council decision n. 25/2012; Rovereto City Council deliberation CC n. 6/2015; Regulation adopted by Prato City Council decision n. 61/2012; Regulation adopted by Casteggio decision n. 79/2014; Regulation adopted by Mirabello City Council decision n. 62/2014; Regulation adopted by Gabliate City Council decision n. 79/2014; Regulation adopted by Barzanò City Council decision n. 39/2011; Regulation adopted by Masnaga City Council decision n. 3/2012; Regulation adopted by Pesaro City Council decision n. 61/2010; Regulation adopted by Ponte San Pietro City Council decision n. 31/2010; Formia City Council regulation approved September 2014; Formignana Municipality Regulation; Ostellato Municipality Regulation; Regulation adopted by Lagosanto City Council decision n. 18/2011; Regulation adopted by Peccetto Torninese City Council decision n. 20/2013.

[3] Decree Law n. 158 of 13.09.2012 converted into L. n. 189 of 08.11.2012 (the so called Balduzzi Decree): sets advertising regulation as for (a) Art. 7 comma 4: “It is forbidden to advertise cash prize games during televised or radiocast shows, plays and movies broadcast whose targeted audience are minors, and during thirty minutes before and after their broadcast. It is also forbidden the advertising in any shape or form on daily newspapers and periodicals whose targeted audience are minors, and in cinemas during movies destined to minors. It is also forbidden to advertise cash prize games during televised or radiocast shows, plays and movies broadcast, on the internet in case of even one of the following situations: a) incitement to gambling by glorification of it b) in the presence of minors c) lack of warning concerning the risks connected to gambling addiction, as well as the possibility of consulting information disclosure note about the odds of winning from the Custom and Monopoly Agency, also available in gambling shops; (b) Art. 7 comma 4-bis: “Cash prize games advertising must visibly list the odd of winning for each and every game. In case it is impossible to determine the exact chances of winning, one must disclose the historical percentage of similar games; (c) Art. 7 comma 4-bis last sub-paragraph: “In case of violation (of Art. 7 comma 4-bis) the proponent is obliged to modify the means, terms and number of ads in order to be in compliance with the original advertising campaign, explicitly declaring the requirements as set by this article, and that such repetition is due to the violation of this article itself; (d) Art. 7 comma 6: “ Both the purchaser of the add, as referred to in comma 4, and the means of advertisement’s owner are punishable by fine of €100.000 up to €500.000.

[4] The 2016 Budget Law affirms that: “973. Notwithstanding article 7, comma 4 and 5 Decree Law September 13, 2012 n. 58, modified and converted into law by law n. 189 of November 8, 2012, notwithstanding the advertising prohibitions, as set by article 4, comma 2 of the law n. 401 of December 13, 1989, aimed at tackling the practicing abuse of gambling and in order to guarantee to the consumers, the players and minors a high level of protection, in order to protect their health and to reduce possible negative financial consequences connected to a compulsive or excess of gambling, the broadcasting of cash prize games brands must be in compliance with the European Union Commission’s recommendation 2014/487/EU of July 14, 2014. The implementation criteria are put forth by the Decree of the Ministry of Economic Affair and Finance, to be adopted by, in coordinating with the Ministry of Health, after consulting with the Media Safeguard Authority, within one hundred and twenty days from the date of entry into force of this law.

  1. Advertising is always forbidden in case of: a) promotion of excessive and out of control gambling behavior; b) denial that gambling is likely to lead to risks; c) failure to explicit the terms and conditions of bonuses and incentives; d) claiming or suggesting that gambling can solve financial and personal problems, namely that it is a viable alternative source of income compared to a regular job, rather than being a form of mere entertainment; e) suggesting that the player’s experience and playing skills allows him to minimize or eliminate the risks of losing, or that such abilities will allow him to systematically win; f) targeting or mentioning, even implicitly, of minors, or depicting them or a figure-like characters while playing; g) uses of symbols, sketches, characters or people, directly and primary associated to minors, or that create a direct interest on them; h) leading to believe that gambling can contribute to boosting self-esteem, reputation and personal success; i) depicting of abstention from gambling as a negative behavior; l) mistaking the easiness of the game with the chances of winning; m) claiming false information concerning the odds of winning or the economic return that players can obtain from gambling; n) reference to instant credit service that can be used for gambling.
  2. It is also forbidden to advertise cash prize games on the radio or television during show whose targeted audience is the entire population, in accordance with EU principles, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Specialized media outlets, as established by Decree of the Ministry of Economic Affair and Finance, in coordination with Ministry of Economic Development and deferred prize drawing lot national lotteries, as set by article 21, comma 6 Decree Law July 1, 2009 n. 78, converted into law and amended by Law of August 3, 2009 n. 102 are excluded by this prohibition. Indirect forms of communication connected to the promotion of culture, research, sport, health and assistance are excluded and subjected to this comma.
  3. The violation of the prohibitions as put forth by comma 938 and 939 and of the prescriptions of comma 937 is punishable with a fine, as set by article 7, comma 6 of Decree Law September 13, 2012, n. 158, converted into law and amended by Law November 8, 2012 n. 189. The fine is imposed on the party that requested the advertising, on party that carries it out and on the owner of the means through which the publicity is advertised, by the Media Safeguard Authority.
  4. The Ministry of Health, in agreement with the Ministry of Education University and Research, shall establish information and awareness campaigns cornering the risks of gambling, even by using its own websites, focusing on all levels of education. In order to increase public awareness such campaigns must focus on the risks and health problems connected to gambling, by providing information about public and private services designed to tackle gambling addiction.

[5] In Liguria, besides the territorial laws, one should bear in mind the following local laws concerning advertising:

(i)Liguria’s Regional Law of 30.04.2012 n. 17 titled “Gaming room framework”, provided for: (a) Art. 2, comma 3: “It is forbidden any type advertisement with respect to the opening or of the existing gaming rooms” (b) Art. 3, comma 1: “The fine, as set by law, is of a minimum € 1,000.00 to a maximum of € 5,000.00”.

(ii)Municipal regulations. The following Provisions adopted by decision of the Genoa’s City Council of 30.04.2013 n. 21/2013 are provided by way of examples: (a) Art. 9, comma 14, last sub-paragraph: “Outside shop exposition of signs, manuscripts and/or screening of material that advertise the recent or historical victories are forbidden”; (b) Art. 9, comma 15: “It is prohibited the advertising of the opening of a new gaming room”; (c) Art. 25, comma 2: “The violations of the provisions of the Regional Law of 30.04.2012 n. 17 are punishable, as set forth by art. 3 of the same law” (The fine, as set by law, is of a minimum of € 1,000.00 to a maximum of € 5,000.00); (d) Art. 25, comma 3 “ Other violations of the present Regulation lead to a fine, as set by art. 7 bis of the Legislative Decree 276/2000 of the Consolidated Law on Local Government, whose total amount is determined in pursuant of art. 16 comma 2 of L.689/1981 namely € 500.00”;  (e) Art. 25 comma 4: “According to art. 10 of the Consolidated Law on Local Government in case of repetition of the violation it is possible to suspend the license, or to revoke it in case of sever and repeated violations”.

[6] In Lazio, besides the territorial laws, one should bear in mind the following local laws concerning advertising:

Regional Law of 05.08.2013 n. 5 “Rules for the prevention and treatment for pathological gambling”: (a) Art. 7: “It is forbidden the advertising in every shape or form of the opening or of the existing cash prize gaming rooms. It is also forbidden the granting of institutional advertising slots for cash prize games”; (b) Art. 12: “The violation of the provisions, as provided for by article 4, comma 1 and article 7, shall be subject to a fine of a minimum of € 1,000.00 to a maximum of € 5,000.00”.

[7] In Lombardy, besides the territorial laws, one should bear in mind the following local laws concerning advertising:

Lombardy’s Regional Law of 21.10.2013 n. 8 “Rules for the prevention and treatment for pathological gambling”: (a) Art. 5, comma 6: “: “It is forbidden the advertising in every shape or form of the opening or of the existing legal gaming rooms that is in contrast with article 7, commas 4, 4-bis and 5 of the Legislative Decree 158/2012”; (b) “Non-compliance with the provisions as put forth by article 5, comma 6 results in a fine of a minimum of € 1,000.00 to a maximum of € 5,000.00”.

[8] In Tuscany, besides the territorial laws, one should bear in mind the following local laws concerning advertising:

(i)Tuscany’s Regional Law of 18.10.2013 n. 57 “Rules for the prevention and treatment for pathological gambling”: (a) Art. 5: “The advertising of cash prize games it is forbidden if it incites or exalts gambling and, in other cases, as set by article 7 of the Decree Law September 13, 2012 n. 158, converted into law and amended by Law November 8, 2012 n. 189”; (b) Art. 14, comma 3: “Those who violates the provisions of article 5 and 6 are subjected to the penalty system as put forth by article 7, comma 6 of the Legislative Decree 158/2012, converted into law by L. 189/2012”.

(ii)Regional Regulations. The following Provisions laid down by “Prato’s Municipality Rules on amusing and entertaining devices and for the functioning of gaming rooms” approved by the City Council of 30.07.2012 decision n. 61 are provided by way of examples: (a) Art. 12, comma 1: “It is forbidden the advertising in any shape or form of gambling products in the municipal area”; (b) Art. 12, comma 2: “It is forbidden the displaying of signs such as “Casino”, “House of gambling” or similar expressions”; (c) Art. 14, comma 2: “Unless otherwise specified by law, the violation of these Rules will be met by a fine of minimum 25.00 (twenty-five, 00) euros to a maximum of 500.00 (five-hundred, 00) euros”.

[9] In Abruzzo, besides the territorial laws, one should bear in mind the following local laws concerning advertising:

Abruzzo’s Regional Law of 29.10.2013 n. 40 “Rules for the prevention and treatment for pathological gambling”: (a) Art. 3, comma 5: “It is forbidden the advertising in any shape or form of the opening or of the existing legal gaming rooms or the installation of legal gambling devices in commercial or public shops”; (b) Art. 4, comma 1: “The violation of provisions provided for by this law, without prejudice to the duty to report to the authorities in case of ascertained offence laid down by the penal code, is punishable by a fine of a minimum of € 1,000.00 to a maximum of € 5,000.00”.

[10] In Puglia, besides the territorial laws, one should bear in mind the following local laws concerning advertising:

Puglia’s Regional Law of 13.12.2013 n. 43 “Rules for the prevention and treatment for pathological gambling”: (a) Art. 7, comma 7: “It is forbidden the advertising in any shape or form of the opening or of the existing gaming rooms”; (b) Art. 7, comma 8: “The non-compliance of the provisions provided for by comma 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 is punishable by a fine of a minimum of 6 thousand to a maximum of 10 thousand euros. The repetition of the violation is punishable by the temporary suspension of the business activities for a minimum of ten to a maximum of sixty days”.

[11] In Friuli Venezia Giulia, besides the territorial laws, one should bear in mind the following local laws concerning advertising:

Friuli Venezia Giulia’s Regional Law of 14.02.2014 n. 1 “Rules for the prevention, treatment and tackling of gambling addiction and the problems and illness connected to it”: (a) Art. 6, comma 8: “It is forbidden the advertising in any shape or form of the opening or of the existing gaming rooms contrary to article 7, comma 4, 4-bis and 5 of the Legislative Decree 158/2012; (b) Art. 9, comma 2: “The non-compliance with the prohibitions as set by article 6, comma 8, is punishable by a fine of a minimum of € 1,000.00 to a maximum of € 5,000.00”.

[12] In Autonomous Province of Trento and Bolzano, besides the territorial laws, one should bear in mind the following local laws concerning advertising:

Regional Law of 13.05.1992 n. 13 “Norms concerning public performances”: (a) Art. 5-bis, comma 3: “It is forbidden the advertising in any shape or form of the opening or of the existing gaming and amusement rooms”; (b) Art. 12, comma 1: “Without prejudice to penal laws, every violation of the provisions as laid down by article 2, 5, 5-bis, 8 and 9 is punishable by a fine of a minimum of € 144.00 to a maximum of € 1,410.00”.

[13] In the present case, the chart was taken by Municipality’s website.

[14] 2016 Stability Law, Art. 1, paragraph 936 states: “No later than April 30, 2016 at the Joint Session as of art. … of the Legislative Decree, 28 August 1997, no. 281 are to be determined the characteristics of the public gaming rooms facilities, the parameter for their allocation on the area, in order to guarantee the highest levels of health protection, public order, and the player’s best intentions and to prevent the access to minors. The agreement reached in the Joint Session are incorporated in the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Decree“.



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