Facebook has backed off its previous tough stance on advertising online gambling services and now allows ads in countries where online gambling is legal.
The top social network has for many years held all forms of online gambling advertising proposals at arm’s length, preferring to promote its family image and high moral stance. However, every man has his price and Facebook has theirs. It seems they have caved in under the weight of so much advertising revenue on the table.
Following a lengthy round of discussions with twenty or so egaming and online casino experts, Facebook have now announced the changes to their advertising policy now permit advertisements to be shown for online casinos and online gaming services. The new guidelines that have been drawn up will enable gambling companies from both the online and brick and mortar worlds to place adverts on Facebook provided that those ads comply with the local lows of the country they will be served in and only after obtaining the social network’s prior consent.
The new rules that apply to gambling, casinos and lotteries advertising are set out to include the following: Online gambling and online casinos; games of skill; lotteries; sports books; poker and bingo providing they first obtain official authorisation from Facebook. There is still a strict prohibition on any online gambling advertising that targets US based players.
This move follows a policy change made last month towards UK based gambling apps which stated that companies could launch them provided that they were clearly branded or marked as play-for-fun only. Such apps may not make provision for players to earn money or tokens that could be converted into credits or cashed out to an online casino, gambling website or land based casino or gambling establishment.
The upshot of these developments means that now any gambling company can launch a play-for-fun Facebook app that includes links facing the company site that directly promotes their gambling services. This means that Facebook has manoeuvred itself into a position where it can take a sizeable slice of the online gambling advertising revenue pie in those markets that are regulated and legal as it is in the UK and many other European countries.
There is speculation that this move follows the Google+1 social network introducing Zynga poker. Google offered game developers far more competitive terms for revenue sharing than did Facebook. With Google increasing its advertising share allowing online gambling operators to place Adwords pay-per-click ads since 2008, Facebook look to be hitting back, leveraging their massive social traffic to generate more revenue from advertising.