Lega Serie A, the top division of Italian football, has expressed “extreme worry” after the country’s government banned professional sports clubs from agreeing sponsorship deals with companies that operate in the gambling sector.
The new ban will come into force on January 1, 2019, with existing sponsorship deals only allowed to run until the end of June 2019.
More than half of Serie A’s 20 clubs have sponsorship deals with companies that operate in the sector.
As part of the so-called ‘Dignity Decree’, gambling advertisements will also be banned.
Serie A said that the new legislation would bring “competitive disadvantages to Italian clubs” and would divert abroad “advertising budgets aimed at teams”.
The league has estimated that the ban will result in the state losing out on approximately €700m ($815m) in tax over the next three years.