Facebook introduces new protocols for gaming ads

Posted on: 23 November 2022, 07:12h.

Last updated on: November 23, 2022, 7:12 AM.

Facebook recently updated its policy regarding gambling-related advertising on the social media site, noting that potential advertisers must obtain written permission to place gambling ads on the platform.

Facebook gaming ads
Facebook displayed on a mobile phone. The company introduced new restrictions on gaming ads. (Image: Economic times)

Those requests must be made to Meta Platforms, Facebook’s parent company. The requests apply to what Meta defines as “common forms of gambling”, including betting, raffles, raffles, casino games, fantasy sports, bingo, poker, skill game tournaments and sweepstakes.

To serve ads promoting online gambling and gaming, advertisers must obtain written permission from Meta using this form and provide evidence that the gambling activities have been properly approved by a regulatory body or otherwise determined to be legal in the territories covered by they want to target,” according to Meta of California. “In addition, Meta does not allow the targeting of online gambling and gaming ads to people under the age of 18.”

Facebook has had some run-ins with gaming companies in the past. For example, in 2029, the company cracked down on some European online gaming companies that allegedly stored massive amounts of customer data in an effort to attract younger potential gamblers.

Big tech companies are facing slippery slopes with the gaming industry

Companies like Google parent Alphabet, Apple, and Facebook that have significant online advertising footprints face a balancing act when it comes to live money gaming.

Social casino game developers contribute to revenue growth in app stores and gaming companies can and will generate online advertising revenue for technology companies. Conversely, the specter of controversy looms. For example, Alphabet, Apple and Facebook are facing lawsuits stemming from plaintiffs claiming they spent tens of thousands of dollars on in-app purchases in social casino games without the ability to win real money.

Last month, Apple pulled gambling ads from several product pages in the App Store after an outcry among developers – many of whom are the purveyors of non-gambling apps. Earlier, Apple tried to quell some of the controversy surrounding the presence of game content in the App Store. For example, in 2019, the company told developers that such content — even the apps that don’t involve real money — should only be rated as appropriate for users 17 and older.

From a public relations perspective, it behooves companies like Facebook to crack down on nefarious gaming content and establish protocols that legitimate companies must adhere to.

“Meta defines online gambling and gaming as any product or service where something of monetary value is included as part of an access method and prize,” adds Meta. “Ads promoting online gambling and gaming are only allowed with our prior written consent. Authorized advertisers must comply with all applicable laws and include targeting criteria consistent with Meta’s targeting requirements. In any case, advertisements may not be aimed at people under the age of 18.”

Following Facebook instructions is important

For operators looking to run gaming ads on Facebook, an ounce of prevention can be worth a pound of cure. In a recent blog post, Klein Moynihan Turco partner David Klein points out that it’s essential to comply with Facebook’s new restrictions.

“In order to run ads that promote online gambling and gaming, advertisers must now obtain prior written permission from Meta to do so. The request must include evidence that the gambling and/or gambling activities involved have been properly approved by regulators or are otherwise legal in the geographic locations or areas they target,” Klein wrote.

He adds that while complying with Facebook’s restrictions on gaming advertising may seem easy at first, it’s actually complicated, indicating that the help of legal counsel is an important consideration.

“As such, companies should seek guidance before running a contest promotion to avoid potential social media, regulatory and legal challenges,” Klein concludes.

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