The Italian Communications Authority (AGCOM) on Tuesday issued an order imposing a fine on Google Ireland Limited, owned by parent company Alphabet, amounting to 750,000 euros (over $765K) for violating a ban on gambling advertising on Google subsidiary video platform YouTube, where along with the company Top Ads, they promoted ads of iGaming site Spike Slot.
The state agency said that both companies failed to comply with the ban on gambling advertising, established in Article 9 of Decree-Law No. 87/218, known as the Dignity Decree and effective since 2019.
“It is the first measure taken by the office against a video hosting service provider (Video Sharing Platform) for allowing the distribution of banned advertisements relating to games with cash winnings,” AGCOM said in a statement.
The comms regulator has also imposed a 700,000 euros (over $712K). fine against a private company, Top Ads ltd, which promoted gambling through its website and its Spike channels on YouTube. The investigation found violations on the part of both the ad creator and the Google-controlled YouTube platform.
Moreover, AGCOM recalled that in October 2020 it issued a similar sanction against Google, imposing a fine of 100,000 euros for breaching the ban on advertising of gambling games. The regulator pointed out that “YouTube was found liable for not taking action to remove the illegal content that was massively distributed on its platform by a third party.”
In addition to the fines, AGCOM decided to remove 625 illegal materials still appearing on YouTube, as well as on spikslot.com within seven days. In doing so, the regulator referred to recent rulings by the Court of Justice of the European Union.