Home Ad trends iGaming Regulations in Advertising: Unlocking New Traffic Sources

iGaming Regulations in Advertising: Unlocking New Traffic Sources

by Mikhail Zhukov

iGaming regulations seem to have become the main headache for operators and affiliates. While the industry is growing at scale, the restrictions for online marketing are getting more and more sophisticated. Where and how to run ads to maximize player deposits? A renowned expert and practitioner is now going to sort this issue out.

Mikhail Zhukov, Head of CPM at Adsterra
Mikhail Zhukov,
Head of CPM

The iGaming infrastructure is expanding rapidly, embracing new operators, software providers, and players. Online gaming revenues will hit $136.3BN by 2029. But this prediction may burst like a bubble if operators and advertisers fail to meet legal and regulatory rules. There are at least two reasons why legal compliance in iGaming is crucial for marketers.

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Laws and legislative restrictions

The global situation with iGaming legal compliance becomes specifically complicated while more and more countries adopt strict bans on iGaming advertising. Coming after the Netherlands, Bulgaria has submitted a bill to prohibit almost all forms of online iGaming advertisements. The two most significant markets are making it harder for advertisers to promote their businesses. The thriving industry is being reshaped by law.

Many advertising platforms and traffic sources have already implemented pre-moderation of ad creatives and landing pages, making it harder to deliver ad messages to a potential player.

Alternative traffic sources like Adsterra can enrich your campaigns with millions of impressions from highly engaged players. Join and test our traffic!

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Payment regulations

Another regulatory instrument affecting the iGaming industry is related to KYC procedures, or verifying the user’s identity. Operators must perform KYC by:

  • Verifying the player’s age
  • Proving if identity documents are authentic. 
  • Detecting risk factors like game addiction or affordability issues.

Complying with these regulations protects both operators and players. KYS helps maintain responsible iGaming business when operators can evaluate customers’ spending potential and prevent problems.

My job today is to round up the principal iGaming regulations on top ad platforms by region: Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Next, we’ll unlock the advantages of new traffic providers and compare regulations within one of the top platforms for the iGaming niche and its next rival.

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Global iGaming regulations (by regions)

Europe’s legislation in advertising of gaming and sports

The European region provides the most transparent legislation for iGaming advertising. The laws were issued a long time ago, but some details are emphasized every year, as in 2021 in Germany when the daytime hours of promoting gaming-related offers were excluded.

Performing legal compliance in iGaming marketing in Europe is more than realistic. There are no complicated or impossible requirements for creatives; the main point is to comply with the age threshold and to make indirect hints about the sport. You can even use logotypes and branding elements if there is an agreement with a particular operator.

CountryRegulatory statusEssence of regulationPermissions required
Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Spain, Portugal, the United KingdomAllowed with restrictionsAds must be targeted at audiences older than 18. Creatives must not contain intentionally false information about winning or any such guarantees. All advertising assets must be moderated before launch. A landing page may mention the athletic discipline without indicating any particular club or player as long as they’re not affiliated with the operator. You must apply for Google/Meta permission to run ad campaigns
GermanyAllowed with restrictionsYou need a license for promoting iGaming productsYou must apply for Google/Meta permission to run ad campaigns
BulgariaAllowed with restrictionsAs of April 2024, Bulgaria accepted a broad ban on iGaming advertising except for state lotteries.You must apply for Google/Meta permission to run ad campaigns. Targeted ads are permitted in some contexts
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A roundup of iGaming regulations in Latin America

The Latin American approach to regulation inherits European experiences. In December 2023, they started introducing more comprehensive restrictions and rules for iGaming advertising. 

Such regulations will bring stability, transparency, and a deeper understanding of the rules. Moreover, we still have more opportunities to use various ad messages and creatives. The landing page content is also regulated less strictly if compared to Europe.

CountryRegulatory statusEssence of regulationPermissions required
Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Panama Allowed with restrictionsAds must be targeted at audiences older than 18. Creatives must not contain intentionally false information about winning or any such guarantees. All advertising assets must be moderated before launch.You must apply for Google/Meta permission to run ad campaigns
MexicoAllowed with restrictionsAdvertisers or operators must integrate warnings in advertisements and landing pages urging that games of chance are not intended for non-adults (e.g., “prohibido para menores”) and that gaming should be done responsibly (e.g., “juega responsablemente”).Advertisers who confirm that their landing pages are managed by an operator registered with the Secretaria de Gobernacion and provide a valid license number or confirm that their landing pages are managed by Pronósticos para la Asistencia Pública and provide a copy of a valid contract stating that the company is an agency (comisionista) or advertising partner (socio promocional) are allowed to advertise on Google.
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A roundup of iGaming regulations in Asia

If compared with the previous regions, Asia remains more conservative when it comes to promoting online gaming. Giant traffic platforms like Google and Meta are not likely to let you launch an ad campaign, even if you have an offer with a license (not regional).

So, the advice is to resort to alternative traffic sources, such as non-mainstream ad networks with huge traffic volumes. If you ask me whether Asian countries will become more flexible regarding iGaming, I’d say that probably not. Asian laws are pretty rigid about gaming, and it may take time to issue new regulatory mechanisms.

CountryRegulatory statusEssence of regulationPermissions required
IndiaAllowed with restrictionsIt is prohibited to run advertisements in the following states: Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, Odisha, Sikkim, and Telangana. Rummy can be advertised in India if the ads don’t mention other types of iGaming activities. You’re not allowed to target rummy ads to audiences from the following states: Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, Odisha, Sikkim, and Telangana.
You must apply for Google/Meta permission to run ad campaigns
JapanAllowed with restrictionsIt is allowed to promote state-controlled iGaming activities (e.g., various types of racing: car, boat, motorcycle, etc.) Organizers may only announce these events but not promote related online gaming.You must apply for Google/Meta permission to run ad campaigns
South KoreaAllowed with restrictionsContent with games of chance is prohibited. Advertising of iGaming is allowed if it meets the requirements for the audience’s age and complies with restrictions for ad creatives and copy.You must apply for Google/Meta permission to run ad campaigns
The PhilippinesAllowed with restrictionsPromoting online gaming platforms is allowed if ads comply with requirements. Games of chance related to sports are prohibited.It is likely that Meta and Google will prohibit all types of iGaming ads soon.
ThailandAllowed with restrictionsOnly organizations managed by the government can run ads promoting state lotteries and sports races 
TurkeyAllowed with restrictions You must apply for Google/Meta permission to run ad campaigns
Viet NamForbidden  
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iGaming regulations in African countries

African countries are still not subject to substantial restrictions. Usually, ad platforms show minor requirements for creatives, such as ‘do not use explicit adult content,’ ‘target the age category 18+,’ and ‘do not use images of famous footballers unless affiliated with the operator or a team that the operator sponsors.’

The rules slightly differ in North African countries, where there are some conservative factors to consider. However, these regulations are more likely to restrict ad campaigns of gaming houses while sporting ads remain partially untouched.

CountryRegulatory statusEssence of regulationPermissions required
EgyptForbiddenLimitations mainly apply to content related to online gaming platforms. Sports ads are not mentioned, but they will most likely not be allowed to launch either 
EthiopiaAllowed with restrictionsThere are no precise limitations on targeting or creativesYou must apply for Google/Meta permission to run ad campaigns. Ads won’t be allowed if an operator is not licensed under one of the jurisdictions. 
GhanaAllowed with restrictionsThere are no precise limitations on targeting or creativesYou must apply for Google/Meta permission to run ad campaigns 
KenyaAllowed with restrictions You must apply for Google/Meta permission to run ad campaigns 
MoroccoForbiddenIt is forbidden to promote online gaming platforms. There are no precise limitations for sporting offers. 
MozambiqueAllowed with restrictions You must apply for Google/Meta permission to run ad campaigns 
NigeriaAllowed with restrictionsRestrictions on targeting exist only when launching ads related to lotteriesYou must apply for Google/Meta permission to run ad campaigns 
South AfricaAllowed with restrictionsThere are no precise limitations on targeting or creativesYou must apply for Google/Meta permission to run ad campaigns 
UgandaAllowed with restrictionsOperators must include a warning in the landing pages that iGaming activities can lead to addiction and damage mental health.You must apply for Google/Meta permission to run ad campaigns 
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Let’s summarize the iGaming regulations mentioned above. As you might have noticed, advertisers must pass the verification and get a special permission by Meta of Google to run ads. 

Another fundamental aspect of a successful campaign start is to include evidence demonstrating licensing or lawful iGaming activity in targeted territories.

Advertising creatives are subject to verification, as well. In most cases, you’re not allowed to guarantee winning or call up for “entering the game.” Many platforms prohibit using photos of sports players or celebrities unless they’ve signed up a contract with an operator.

The next vital part of an online campaign is the advertising format. Here, we’re facing some regulations again. For example, Google blocks the following ad formats when you advertise iGaming offers:

  • Gmail ads
  • Product advertisements
  • Reserved media placements
  • User ratings
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Alternative traffic sources for iGaming operators and affiliates

We have outlined some basic restrictions without going into details. Even this quick outlook proves that you must comply with pretty tough rules when advertising on mainstream giant traffic platforms.

Are there any other options? Sure. There are non-mainstream ad networks with fewer regulations. 

A non-mainstream advertising network allows you to promote your iGaming products on thousands of websites whose owners have permitted such ads.

Along with stable traffic volumes, such networks offer a wide range of ad formats that you can modify to fit your message.

Why do non-mainstream traffic providers usually not put severe limitations on iGaming ads? To begin with, they deal with direct publishers who agree to display such creatives. Second, all creatives and landing pages are pre-moderated manually, which is not feasible on giant platforms. As an outcome, advertisers can access the same audiences, staying compliant with legislation.

Let’s walk through the key advantages of ad networks with a high reputation.

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Advantages of non-mainstream advertising networks

  1. Campaigns get verified faster. Verification of any gaming campaign will take, at most, an hour or a couple of hours. For successful verification, you must comply with the policy, including general requirements for creatives and landings.
  2. There is no need to apply for specific permissions/licenses/certificates to launch a campaign.
  3.  Access to assets with creatives.
  4. Vertical-specific, expert advice: you can apply for competitive rates, get advice on the best-performing creatives, and ask for an assessment of your bid strategy.
  5. An opportunity to launch managed campaigns if you represent a brand or agency.
  6. Almost no rules for creatives except for general restrictions: misleading ads, ads exposing violence, etc.
  7. High volumes of relevant traffic.
  8.  A variety of advertising formats that don’t limit you by verticals/offers.
  9. A large amount of niche traffic with high CR and CTR.
  10. Most-used payment systems.
  11. In-built stats reports.
  12. Optimization tools.

Summing up, an ad network is a large-scale and high-quality source of traffic, which will allow you to increase ROI with fewer requirements to an offer.

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Disadvantages of non-mainstream ad networks

  1. Limited targeting options. You may not get all the opportunities to target user preferences or retarget to look-alike audiences.
  2. Pricing models may not fit your initial goals: for instance, Adsterra recommends buying CPM traffic if you target player deposits.
  3. Lower traffic volumes in specific targeting zones such as Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, etc.
  4. A limited set of payment systems: you will usually choose from bank transfers, card payments, Capitalist and a few more.
  5. It is necessary to set up a customized conversion tracker; Google Analytics will usually not work.

It is possible to cope with all of the above disadvantages. But it’s very important to ensure your partner network supports responsible marketing. Here’s what I recommend to check first:

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How to check the ad network’s credibility

  1. Official user ratings and feedback left on forums
  2. Reviews by top influencers
  3. Terms and conditions (usually, they’re available on the website; if not, it’s a red flag)
  4. Response time (availability of customer support and overall expertise)
  5. Official network’s media kits
  6. Blog articles, including product guides for setting up a campaign
  7. Expert articles in trusted media
  8. Help center or knowledge base
  9. Payment systems
  10. Signup terms (if they ask for a paid login, it’s a red flag)
  11. Advertising formats available
  12. Refund policy (usually, laid out in official terms and conditions)
  13. Possibilities to reach out to a pro manager, as well as to assets (creatives and pre-landers)
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TikTok VS ad networks: Comparing iGaming regulations

Traffic sources power the advertising infrastructure, and you can’t ignore mega-platforms like TikTok. Affiliates use TikTok to promote affiliate links, drive traffic to sponsored products, or grow brand loyalty (brand ambassadorship). However, boosting traffic to an iGaming offer is particularly hard here.

Let’s check how TikTok’s terms differ from those on non-mainstream ad networks:

RegionsTikTokAd Network
The EUAds are partially allowed in Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, the UK, Czechia, RomaniaAllowed
Middle East, Turkey, Africa and PakistanForbidden in: Bahrain, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, PakistanAllowed
North-East AsiaPartially allowed, but creatives are restricted. Campaigns must target only the audience over 18 years old. Advertising must not call to win a prize or guarantee cash rewards.Allowed
South-East AsiaForbiddenAllowed
Australia and New Zealand Partly allowedAllowed

All major platforms, including TikTok, have applied almost equivalent measures. We expect more regulations as they appear in local legislation, specifically in Tier-3 countries.

Alternatively, traffic sources like ad networks have managed to stay flexible regarding iGaming campaigns. While considering major regulatory rules, ad networks still provide more freedom in setting up marketing campaigns and targeting. 

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New verticals

The iGaming industry will soon reach new heights in audience coverage, embracing new activities like eSports. We will also witness new regulations in this field. With so many passionate e-players and fans in the US, Asia, and Latin America, there should be a legislative regulation for advertising to make this area safe and transparent for all participants.

More regulations

New regulations will soon come into force in Tier-2 and Tier-3 countries, affecting mainstream advertising platforms offering traffic from these countries. Non-mainstream ad networks may become one of the powerful traffic sources in this situation. While Latam, Asian and African countries have been following the European regulations for a while, we will soon see some unique restrictions based on cultural and religious specifics.

Responsible advertising

Ad networks will invest in developing powerful tools to detect ad fraud traffic, providing more guarantees for advertisers.


Another trend is AI, of course. I believe many governments and ad platforms will need to control AI-generated content, especially if it involves celebrities. Deep fakes must be penalized as they mislead players and harm brand reputation.

UGC transparency

We expect more transparency in UGC (user-generated content) for iGaming products. Ad platforms will have to develop sophisticated rules that influencers and bloggers should comply with. These rules will cover far more than just ensuring your operator is licensed under the official jurisdiction.

How can iGaming regulations change affiliate marketing strategies?

Mainstream platforms like Google, Facebook, and TikTok have implemented multiple rules to automate ad moderation. Not every affiliate can get permission to promote online gaming or provide evidence that their advertiser is licensed by one of the top jurisdictions.

But that’s one side of the story. Every country has accepted laws regarding the promotion of iGaming products. Some countries have banned nearly all forms of online ads. That’s why affiliate marketing strategies are now refocusing on non-mainstream ad networks. Non-mainstream ad networks connect advertisers with audiences visiting websites and blogs whose owners have allowed iGaming ads.

Are there penalties for non-compliant iGaming marketing?

Many ad platforms suspend iGaming campaigns by default if you pick a country where such ads are prohibited. However, there are many nuances in what you can call “allowed” or “prohibited.” You may be allowed to run ads but not use people’s faces on the creatives, and so on. One of the most illustrative examples is X, who was penalized €1.35M for breaching the Italian iGaming ban. So, the only surefire way to learn about penalties for non-compliant iGaming advertising is to read through the country’s legislation.

Is user-generated content (UGC) restricted in the iGaming niche?

Influencers can become the most trusted brand advocates. People join gaming platforms and make deposits thanks to their reviews and live streams. However, before buying a review from a blogger or posting a testimonial, one must become familiar with the local regulatory base. We all have citizenship of a particular country. If your country prohibits promoting games of chance, you can be penalized even if you’re streaming from another country. In 2024, two affiliates from Indonesia were sentenced to a $67.000 fine after promoting prohibited gaming activities.

How can players verify the legality and compliance of an iGaming platform?

A trusted iGaming platform must provide transparent usage terms and be responsible for supporting players. We usually advise gaming operators to ensure they provide their audience with:
☑️ 24/7 player support
☑️ Licenses and certificates required to run the iGaming business
☑️ Call center’s contacts
☑️ Fully transparent refund terms
☑️ Players’ testimonials
☑️ Payment reports

The same is fair for affiliates who plan to market an offer.

How do non-mainstream ad networks verify iGaming ads?

✅ Non-mainstream ad networks don’t usually host dozens of millions of publishers. Therefore, they can verify websites more carefully, including by manually checking. 
✅ Direct publishers can exclude ad types while adding their domain to an advertising network, which is how they signal if specific content can or can’t be displayed on their web pages.
✅ Another aspect is expertise: well-established ad networks employ managers and support teams with knowledge of legal aspects within a particular niche or vertical. Managers can advise on the most appropriate strategy for ad creatives and landers, helping you stay within the legislation.

All the aforementioned doesn’t imply you can bypass local laws or restrictions. Still, you can enrich your ad channels with quality traffic from geos where high-intent audiences are ready to put deposits and play.

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