In this interview with CalvinAyre.com’s Becky Liggero, Stanleybet CEO Giovanni Garrisi shares his views on Italy’s newest gambling policy and why he is optimistic that it will only be temporary.
Italy is set to implement a new gambling advertising and sponsorship ban in early 2019 as part of the government’s plan to protect residents from gambling harm.
The ban, which could take effect on January 1, 2019, will reportedly apply to “any form of advertising related to games or wagering winnings of money, however carried out and by any means, including sporting, cultural or artistic events, television or radio broadcasts, daily and periodic press, publications in general, billboards and internet.”
Gambling operators and media outlets that fail to abide by the policy will face hefty administrative fines. However, many gambling operators think that the advertising ban is nothing but a populist action that doesn’t really address the issue of problem gambling. According to Stanleybet CEO Giovanni Garrisi, it’s impossible for operators to fulfill their online license obligations in Italy without the possibility of doing advertising.
“But you see, this is not the problem of the regulator. The problem is the new government. They just don’t know what they’re doing. If you think, they’ve just offered 200 new concessions and we also are the winner of one of them, this is totally unbelievable,” Garrisi told CalvinAyre.com.
However, Garrisi believes that the ban will only be temporary due to the new policy’s repercussions, such as lawsuits from different gambling operators.
“In fact, I think this will be changed at the parliamentary level. At the right moment, it would be changed. Because the one thing is betting and another thing is, really, game of chance, that is more addictive,” Garrisi said. “In any case, if nothing will change, according to our views, we will call in court the government—the state is more correct—for compensation.”
Meanwhile, Garrisi also talked about some of the innovations Stanleybet has been doing to keep up with changing consumer preferences, including the introduction of artificial intelligence in its software. The company also developed its first female robotic named Patricia, according to Garrisi.
When asked how Stanleybet, which has been around since 1958, inspires innovation, Garrisi said, “It’s just because I have always seen in my life all the challenges like something to face in a scientific way… So, in every situation, you could find it strange that in a betting and gaming activity there is a so scientific approach because it is leisure. But I found also a way to connect the prime number to betting.”