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iGaming Media: Restrictions and Regulation

21 Apr, 2023
From limitless possibilities to strict limitations

Over the past decades, marketing in the iGaming industry has undergone significant changes. What was once an unrestricted field for advertising campaigns and high revenues has become subject to strict regulations and limitations. In this article, we will explore the history of marketing in gambling, the existing restrictions, and examples from different countries.

From limitless possibilities to strict limitations

In the early stages of the iGaming industry’s development, operators had a wide range of tools and almost unlimited opportunities to promote their products. At that time, there were no specific laws and regulations concerning iGaming advertising. Open advertising campaigns, banners, direct consumer engagement through email and telemarketing – all of this was available to iGaming industry marketing managers.

Over time, public opinion on gambling began to change. The growing number of cases of gambling addiction, issues with banking operations and money laundering, as well as negative impacts on local economies and social welfare attracted the attention of governments and the public. As a result, there emerged a need for regulating advertising and marketing in the iGaming industry. These measures included restrictions on advertising content, bans on advertising in certain media channels and for specific population groups, as well as the development of codes of ethics and standards.

A few more examples of iGaming regulations in different countries:

The United Kingdom

The UK has some of the strictest regulations and restrictions on iGaming advertising and marketing in the world. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) work together to enforce these regulations and ensure that operators comply with the advertising codes of practice.

One of the key restrictions on iGaming advertising in the UK is the requirement to promote responsible gaming. All gambling advertisements must include messaging about the risks associated with gambling and signpost to support and advice services for those who may be experiencing gambling-related harm. Operators must also avoid using advertising techniques that are likely to appeal to children, such as cartoon characters or celebrities.

The UKGC has introduced restrictions on the content and placement of iGaming advertisements. For instance, advertisements cannot imply that gambling is a solution to financial problems, nor can they make exaggerated claims about the chances of winning. There is a requirement for operators to verify the age and identity of all customers before they can access gambling services. Operators are required to ensure that advertisements are not shown during programs that are likely to be watched by children or vulnerable adults.

In addition to these regulations, the UKGC has introduced strict penalties for operators that do not comply with the advertising codes of practice. These penalties can include fines, the suspension or revocation of a gambling license, or legal action.

Australia

One of the key restrictions on iGaming advertising in Australia is the ban on in-play betting. This means that operators are not allowed to offer bets on events that have already started, which is designed to reduce the risks associated with impulsive and problematic gambling. Additionally, advertising for gambling products is not allowed during certain hours of the day when children are likely to be watching television.

The Australian government has also introduced a voluntary self-exclusion program that allows individuals to ban themselves from accessing gambling services. This program is designed to provide support and resources for individuals who may be experiencing gambling-related harm and help them to avoid the risks associated with problem gambling.

In addition to these restrictions, the Australian government has introduced strict regulations on the types of games that can be offered by operators. For instance, there are restrictions on the maximum bet that can be placed on certain games, as well as requirements for responsible gambling messaging and support resources to be available for players.

The Australian government requires operators to obtain a license before offering gambling services to customers. These licenses are subject to strict requirements and regulations, including regular audits and reporting to ensure compliance with responsible gambling standards.

USA

The regulation and restrictions on iGaming in the United States are complex and vary from state to state. While gambling is legal in some states, such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Other states where iGaming is completely banned include:

  • Utah
  • Hawaii
  • Alaska
  • Virginia, and etc

In many other states, only Indian casinos or lotteries are allowed. Also states have introduced responsible gambling requirements, such as the inclusion of messaging about the risks associated with gambling and support resources for those who may be experiencing gambling-related harm.

The Wire Act of 1961, which prohibits the use of interstate wire communications for gambling purposes, has also had an impact on the regulation of iGaming in the United States. While the Department of Justice has issued a legal opinion that the Wire Act only applies to sports betting, some states have taken a cautious approach to iGaming regulation and have limited the types of games that can be offered.

Nigeria

In the Nigerian gambling industry is the lack of a clear legal framework, as in all African countries. While there are a few laws that regulate gambling in Nigeria, such as the Criminal Code Act of 1990, they do not cover all aspects of the industry. As a result, the gambling industry operates in a largely unregulated environment, which can leave players vulnerable to unfair practices and scams.

Despite the lack of comprehensive regulation, there are some restrictions on gambling activities in Nigeria. For instance, the National Lottery Regulatory Commission is responsible for regulating and overseeing lotteries in the country, and there are some restrictions on the types of games that can be offered. Additionally, some forms of gambling, such as sports betting, are subject to restrictions on advertising and promotion.

To address the lack of regulation in the gambling industry, the Nigerian government has announced plans to introduce new laws and regulations. These new laws are expected to provide a clearer legal framework for the gambling industry, as well as strengthen oversight and enforcement. These new regulations will help to create a safer and more transparent environment for players and operators alike.

iGaming industry today

While these restrictions may make it more challenging for operators to advertise their products, they have also helped to build trust and confidence in the industry among customers and regulators alike.

The emergence of restrictions on gambling advertising has led operators to switch to more subtle and innovative marketing strategies. Namely, with the development of the Internet and social media, they have received new opportunities to promote their products, including contextual advertising, SEO optimization, the use of blogs and affiliate programs. All this has become an important tool for any iGaming project.

Nowadays we can notice the trend of legalization of gambling-related businesses and iGaming advertising. The desire of the countries to increase the government budget led to the consideration of the legalization of gambling. After all, gambling operators not only pay taxes to the budget, but also pay for expensive licenses.

Secondly, the prohibition of gambling often leads to the emergence of underground casinos and betting platforms, illegal employment and an increase in crime. Moreover, during the restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the online gambling market has grown significantly. It is also difficult to fight illegal online sites, as well as with underground casinos, so the easiest way to solve the problem is to legalize iGaming, monitor compliance with responsible gaming and approve clear rules for marketing and advertising this business.

Data40 Team
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