Date: 12.12.2023

by Antoni Majewski

Italy’s Communications Watchdog Fines YouTube and Twitch for Gambling Advertising Violations

Italy’s communications authority, AGCOM, has recently imposed significant fines on two major online platforms, YouTube and Twitch, owned by Alphabet Inc and Amazon respectively.

This move comes as a response to what AGCOM identifies as violations of Italy’s strict regulations on gambling advertising.

Details of the Fines and Violations

The fines amount to 2.25 million euros ($2.45 million) for YouTube and 900,000 euros for Twitch. AGCOM’s decision was driven by the discovery of over 20,000 online videos across these platforms that promoted various types of gambling, including sports betting. This content is said to be in direct breach of Italy’s laws that prohibit gambling advertising.

Commercial Partnerships Scrutinized

AGCOM’s investigation revealed that both YouTube and Twitch had commercial partnerships with content creators who published the gambling-related videos. These partnerships have come under scrutiny as they seemingly facilitated the spread of gambling advertisements, contrary to Italian regulations.

As of the announcement, neither YouTube nor Twitch had provided comments regarding the fines or the actions taken by Italy’s communications watchdog. The lack of immediate response highlights the complexities and challenges global online platforms face in adhering to varying national regulations on content and advertising.

Our Comment on the Article

This regulatory action by Italy’s AGCOM underscores the growing global concern over the regulation of online content, particularly in areas like gambling where there are significant legal and ethical considerations. The hefty fines imposed on YouTube and Twitch signal a strict stance by Italian authorities on enforcing their gambling advertising laws and highlight the need for major online platforms to ensure compliance with local regulations.

This scenario is a clear reminder of the intricate balance that global digital companies must maintain between their business operations and adherence to the diverse legal landscapes in which they operate.