The growth of gambling, and its social and pathological implications, calls for legal and regulatory interventions, with a focus on advertising. In fact, the latter stands as one of the moments of "capture" of the potential gambler, and the context in which he needs to be properly informed, among other things, of the odds of winning and of the risks of addiction. In this respect, an important role was played by the Italian Competition Authority, within the competencies assigned to it by national law on misleading advertising and unfair commercial practices. Several decisions have been adopted by the Authority in this field, highlighting the circumstances where an advertisement may be considered likely to deceive, therefore jeopardizing the economic behavior of the consumers. This paper analyzes such interventions and offers some food for thought, vis-à-vis the progressive downgrading of competencies of the Italian Competition Authority implemented by the latest legislation.
Keywords: Misleading advertising, unfair commercial practices, gambling, Italian Competition Authority, sector-specific regulation