Advertising Regulations & Affiliates

Increased advertising regulations have had a major impact on the gambling sector in recent years. These tougher regulations have had a particularly strong impact on how bookmakers promote their offering on affiliate sites.

The increase in regulation means that each affiliate manager needs to be on the ball as to how their affiliates are promoting the brand.

From the aspect of the affiliates, adhering to all the regulations should increase player conversion and player value. The increase in regulation has actually resulted in operators be more creative with their offers to give themselves the edge.

As betting markets open up around the world different regulations and standards will be introduced.

However if we take the UKGC as an example we can review some of the regulations they have imposed on affiliate sites under their authority. The UKGC holds operators accountable for the affiliate sites they are listed on.

Here are a couple of key rules that affiliates must abide by:

  • All advertised offers must have key terms visible at the point of advertisement. 
  • A full list of the Terms & Conditions of the offers must be one click away.
  • You must also conform to Advertising Standards Authority(ASA) rules too. You cannot claim that an offer will ‘triple your money’ or anything that might ‘guarantee’ winnings.
  • 18+ and appropriate responsible gambling links must be included e.g. begambleaware.org

Age Verification

Social casinos have been a staple of the affiliate sector for many years. Social casino sites allow users to play online games like roulette, poker and blackjack without wagering any real money. New age verification regulations have put these sites in peril. Sites must now verify that all of their users are over the age of 18. These regulations were introduced on the 7th May of this year and social casino affiliates have had to adapt quickly as game providers look to come up with a cost-effective solution.

 

Gambling & Sport

These tougher standards don’t just apply to the affiliate world. The crackdown has actually been most severe on the relationship between betting sites and sports teams/events.

The ASA introduced a ‘whistle-to-whistle’ ban on live televised sport in the UK on the 1st of August this year. Under this ban, no gambling advertisements will be shown during a televised sports event before the 9PM watershed. This has dramatically reduced the amount of gambling ads shown on our televisions and it’s a major shift away from the Gambling Act of 2005 which first allowed bookmakers to advertise on television. This ban applies to all sports except horse racing and greyhound racing.

This comes after GVC Holdings announced they would be removing their sponsorship from sports jerseys and pitchside advertising hoardings. Kenny Alexander, GVC CEO, stated that this would ‘allow fans to watch their favourite teams without seeing any incentives to bet’.

Football jersey sponsorship has been discussed at length in the UK too. 27 of the 44 teams in England’s top two divisions have their jersey emblazoned with a bookmakers logo in the 2019/2020 season. In 2017, the Labour Party claimed that they would ban betting sponsorship in football if they were in power. If this does come to pass, a major marketing channel for bookmakers will be wiped out completely.

Future Plans

Looking ahead it seems as though the cornerstones of gambling advertising will remain. Affiliates and PPC advertising have been strong acquisition channels for years and that shows no signs of changing.

In brief, as more countries open up regulated betting markets we will see an increase in affiliate traffic and gambling ads on Google. Google recently opened up PPC advertising for betting companies in New Jersey which signals a major step for legalised betting in America.