Genoa President Enrico Preziosi calls proposals to ban gambling advertising in Italian football as “madness”.
Movimento 5 Stelle, the party which won the most seats at the last election and which is in a coalition government with the Lega, has proposed a ban on gambling advertising as part of the so-called ‘decree of dignity’.
While no Serie A side has a gambling company as a main sponsor, and only 2 per cent of sponsorship deals are with gambling companies - compared to 8 per cent in England - the proposals would nonetheless have a knock-on effect on football.
“It’s madness,” Preziosi fumed, speaking to reporters after the proposal was outlined.
“Is this about reducing addiction? This would only encourage betting abroad, as well as getting around it illegally.
“It’s a senseless and populist proposal that would hurt a system like football, which already struggles to stand on its own two feet. It would be a blow, and wouldn’t even solve the problem you’re trying to address.
“Do you think people quit smoking after the slogans about the risks of smoking appeared on the packages? Nothing has changed.
“Usually prohibition does nothing but fuel certain practises even more. I’m really angry.
“You can’t just wake up in the morning and do something like this. They don’t understand the devastating effects there would be on football, an industry in which thousands of people work.
“In the past we had a betting company as a shirt sponsor, we could get it back in the future. That’s a commercial opportunity which can’t be denied to us.”
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