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Navigating the High-Stakes World of Online Gaming Advertising: Policies, Permissions, and Enforcement

Navigating the High-Stakes World of Online Gaming Advertising: Policies, Permissions, and Enforcement

August 28, 2023

Navigating the High-Stakes World of Online Gaming Advertising: Policies, Permissions, and Enforcement

By: Sara Dalsheim

A top concern of online gaming regulators is the control and dissemination of advertising. In connection with these concerns sites like Meta, X (formerly known and commonly referred to as Twitter), and Google have released online gambling advertising policies and requirements.

To run online gambling and gaming advertising on Meta / Facebook users are required to obtain written permission to promote online gambling and gaming.[1] Applying for permission requires providing “evidence that the gambling activities are appropriately licensed by a regulator, or otherwise established as lawful in territories they want to target”. In our experience, the evidence is established via a legal opinion or memorandum explaining whether the entity obtains proper licensure for advertising or why the entity does not need a license to advertise. Only then, is permission granted to specific ad account IDs. If approved, the approval is limited to the URLs and territories listed in the approval.[2]

Meta has its own definition of online gambling and gaming which are quite broad. This includes “all forms of online gambling” listed as betting, lotteries, raffles, casino games, fantasy sports, bingo, poker, skill game tournaments, and sweepstakes. Additionally, Meta’s policy states that any game where anything of monetary value is included as part of the method of entry and anything of monetary value is included as part of the prize is online gambling and gambling activity. According to Meta, online gambling and gaming does not include physical, real-money gambling activities or establishments; prize promotions that involve purchasing a product at the usual retail price; and entirely free-to-play games. These items do not require permission to advertise. The policy also does not permit, without approval, ads with landing pages that contain promotions for online gambling or games, such as an affiliate site. Even after permission is granted to advertise on Meta platforms, Meta does not allow users to target people under the age of 18 with online gambling and gaming ads.

X (i.e., Twitter)’s gambling content policy prohibits “the promotion of gambling content, except for campaigns targeting specified countries where it is allowed with restrictions.”[3] Otherwise, stated, promotions of gambling are prohibited on Twitter unless they conform to their country specific policy. The policy’s U.S. specific section clarifies that content on gambling content is permitted but only in line with the following restrictions: (1) the advertiser must be domiciled in the U.S.; (2) the ads must include appropriate disclaimers; (3) ads must comply with all of X’s other ad policies[4]; and (4) ads must be subject to additional requirements at X’s sole discretion.

There are further restrictions that apply to affiliates or aggregators. Affiliates and aggregators must not directly link to gambling operator sites and they cannot provide the ability to place a bet in either the ad text or on the landing page.

X, like Meta, requires all gambling content advertisers looking to promote in a specific market to obtain prior authorization from X.  The process involves “filing a ticket” with the X support team.

X’s policy also outlines what products or services are and are not subject to the gambling content policy. The policy applies to: online casinos, online gambling, sports betting bingo, physical casino establishments, online fantasy sports sites, bonus codes and coupons redeemable for gambling content, E-books or websites facilitating or leading to online gambling related content (including affiliates and other sites that drive traffic to gambling), gambling related software, sites or services providing tips or picks or poker odds calculators, scratch games, lotteries, and games or apps played for money. The policy specifies that it does not apply to hotels with a casino (where the focus is on the hotel), gambling accessories (e.g., poker chips or pachinko machines), or news and information about fantasy sports.

Google has been criticized by regulators and the industry for its lack of effort to remove offshore gambling websites and promotions from its searches. Starting in February 2023 Google updated its Ads Gambling policy for the U.S. According to the policy, advertisers must apply for certification[5]. Obtaining certification to run ads promoting horse racing, sports betting, or online casinos require supplying proof of licensure or a legal memorandum explaining why licensure is not required to run ads in certain jurisdictions.

Certified advertisers must only target Google’s approved list of countries, have a landing page that displays information about responsible gambling, and never target minors.[6] Additionally, in the U.S., advertisers may not target individuals outside the state(s) where they are licensed or approved to promote online gambling content. Advertisers must also include a warning against the dangers of addictive and compulsive gambling and related assistance information on the landing page or in the creative content.

Google has certain details for promoting Daily Fantasy Sports. They are similar to the requirements for promoting online gambling, but the content must not be targeted to those under 18, as opposed to targeting those under 21 for online gambling. Daily Fantasy Sports content also cannot imply affiliations with schools or universities. The Daily Fantasy Sports advertisers that wish to target states that do not require a license, must be licensed in at least one other state that does require a license to promote on Google.

It is good to see that these websites are being proactive in establishing clear policies for advertising in this new industry. However, what remains unclear is to what extent they are enforcing their policies and policing their websites for violators. Offshore sites remain a competitor to the legalized market, it is key for such websites to not only implement but enforce their policies to assist the regulated market.


[1] Business Help Center – About Meta’s Online Gambling and Gaming advertising policy, https://www.facebook.com/business/help/345214789920228?id=434838534925385 (last visited Aug. 25, 2023).

[2] Business Help Center – How to apply for permission to promote online gambling or gaming, https://www.facebook.com/business/help/4740325989340856 (last visited Aug. 25, 2023).

[3] X Business – Gambling content, https://business.twitter.com/en/help/ads-policies/ads-content-policies/gambling-content.html (last visited Aug. 25, 2023).

[4] X Ads Help Center – X Ads policies, https://business.twitter.com/en/help/ads-policies.html (last visited Aug. 25, 2023).

[5] Google Ads Help – Gambling application: Single-country license, https://support.google.com/google-ads/troubleshooter/2893932?visit_id=638284198405500297-3302328143&rd=1#ts=9462165 (Aug. 25, 2023).

[6] Advertising Policies Help – Gambling and games, https://support.google.com/adspolicy/answer/6018017?hl=en#zippy=%2Cunited-states (Aug. 25, 2023).

Sara Dalsheim

Sara Dalsheim

Sara Dalsheim’s life-long passion for sports and the law fuels her commitment to assisting all players in the sports betting industry, whether in navigating the ever-evolving regulatory and licensing issues inherent in this burgeoning industry or negotiating operations and sponsorship agreements. Sara advises clients throughout the sports betting and gaming ecosystem on how to structure business partnerships that minimize liability and maximize revenues.

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