The affiliate marketing landscape is growing increasingly globalized as more nations choose to regulate and license online gambling. As affiliates and gambling providers seek to take advantage of this diversified market by choosing international partners, how can they make sure that they remain on the right side of regulation?
Disparities Between Licensing Requirements and Regulations
All responsible affiliate marketers and online gambling providers abide by the regulations of the markets they operate in. However, it is worth bearing in mind the differences between licensing requirements and regulations. The UK is a good example of where this can cause confusion. iGaming in the United Kingdom has been heavily regulated for many years, which means providers have to adhere to a strict code — something that affiliate marketers have not always needed to worry about.
Instead of being regulated by the UK’s Gambling Commission, until recently, affiliates only had to abide by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) guidelines. The ASA has the power to enforce these guidelines, but the specific gambling content of affiliates was largely unregulated, which is why organizations such as Responsible Affiliates in Gambling (RAIG) put their own recommendations in place to make the affiliate market fairer and more responsible.
Does this mean affiliate marketers could effectively do their own thing? Well, no. Organizations like RAIG have been championing proper regulation for affiliates in the future for some time, with many regulatory changes already in force. Affiliates and betting providers who have already adopted a responsible approach have a head start on new regulations.
It’s important to remember that affiliate marketing is not only governed by international borders. Many of the world’s gambling markets — including some of the biggest markets on the planet — are federated, which means different jurisdictions may impose different rules on affiliate programs.
For example, in India gambling is strictly prohibited in some states but not in others. Maharashtra state, for example, prohibits online gambling, while Sikkim does not. This can cause problems for online gambling providers seeking affiliate partners based in areas where gambling is not permitted — even if the affiliate is not promoting gambling products within the state, their actions could be considered illegal.
This situation is not unique to India, of course. Other markets are also divided into different states below the federal level — including the USA, Canada, Germany, and Australia. These are huge markets, with a great deal of potential for affiliate marketing success. However, both online betting providers and affiliate marketers themselves need to tread carefully to make sure they do not violate interstate boundaries with their marketing.
It is important to remember that regulations are subject to change. In some areas of the globe, affiliate marketers may not need to be licensed, particularly in locations where the digital economy is a relatively recent development. While these markets may seem to represent a wealth of opportunity for affiliates looking to avoid licensing fees, this may not remain the case for long.
If changes in regulations and licensing requirements catch affiliate marketers or gambling providers unawares, they may find themselves with a hefty fine. As a result, affiliates and providers alike need to remain engaged with the markets they operate in, paying close attention to legal shifts and changes as they avoid being caught out. This is true across the world — whether you are operating in Nigeria, the USA, Romania, or in Australia.