Search engine group Google has been fined €750,000 by Italian communications regulator Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni for violating regulations related to gambling ads.
Italy has banned gambling advertisements, but Google allowed gambling advertisements to run on a few YouTube channels. Names of the gambling companies featured weren't made publicly available. This fine is the first that the regulator has dished out to a media company for violating the law.
Google was deemed responsible because the channel that featured the ads, Spike, was granted "verified partner" status, which the regulator says shifts responsibility to Google for ensuring that only proper ads are shown.
The fine is quite large for Google, but Italy has been pushing its gambling ban quite hard, having banned TV ads, online ads, and even sportsbetting sponsorships. This isn't the first time that the regulator has fined Google, either. In 2020 it was fined €100,000 for allowing gambling ads in search results, but this was eventually tossed out.
It's not known whether or not Google will appeal this fine, although with its large size it certainly is a possibility.