In Italy and the governing body for all professional soccer is reportedly calling on the government to temporarily lift a ban that currently prevents clubs from inking sponsorship and advertising deals with sportsbetting operators.
According to a report from SBCNews, the Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio (FIGC) is claiming that the move will help teams across the country to recoup some of the financial losses incurred as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic. The source detailed that the authority established in 1898 is also responsible for Italy’s national futsal set-up and the organizing of games for the country’s male, female and youth football teams.
The FIGC is reportedly asking the government of recently-appointed Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi to lift the prohibition first implemented in January of 2019 until the end of the 2023 football season in order to allow the sport to recoup a portion of its lost earnings. The organization is moreover purportedly eager for the simultaneous creation of a Football Savings Fund that would be tasked during the two-year period with distributing one percent of all domestic online and retail sportsbetting revenues to a wide range of football-focused projects spread across the country.
Gabriele Gravina serves as the President for the FIGC and he reportedly declared that he has additionally requested that the government allow clubs to take advantage of an assortment of tax contribution relief measures and ‘dedicated procedures’ for the conciliation of Italian Revenue Agency debts. The 67-year-old purportedly also asserted that Italian football is ‘at a crossroads’ following the tumult of the last two seasons and now ‘must act quickly’ so as to prevent clubs from being brought to their knees and impacting ‘the entire sports sector.’
Reportedly read a statement from Gravina…
“We did not ask the government for refreshments but rather to recognize the socio-economic importance that football has through the adoption of some urgent measures to relieve clubs from the crisis generated by the coronavirus pandemic. Football can play a decisive role in Italy’s overall recovery.”
SBCNews reported that the current prohibition means that clubs are not allowed to domestically advertise sportsbetting in any way or partner with such services for the purposes of influencing their supporters. Despite this state of affairs and the source explained that teams have still been able to honor deals inked before the imposition of the current embargo and ink arrangements with iGaming operators for non-Italian markets.
Draghi’s government has reportedly been ramping up the pressure on Italy’s struggling sportsbetting and iGaming sector and recently revealed that he wants to reduce the number of gambling licences from 85 to 50 by the end of 2023. This pronouncement purportedly immediately prompted the European Gaming and Betting Association to lobby the European Commission for an explanation as to whether such a unilateral diminution would be legal.