This week has brought about some excellent news for all of us in the online gaming industry. Social media giant Facebook finally announced that it will open its advertising slots to several verticals that were initially prohibited including online gambling. However, the online gambling ads must be targeted outside US to be approved.
Facebook has over 500 million registered users and a lot of these users spend most of their time playing free online poker on Zynga. So, there is a humongous untapped database of potential real money poker players that can be catered to. As soon as Facebook made this news public, all the advertising brains at headquarters of all the poker and casino rooms must have jumped up in joy. This in fact is welcome news that the world and most of all social media sites are opening up to online gambling.
Facebook will now also allow ads that promote contests, sweepstakes and other gambling related promotions. All the gambling related ads will be thoroughly screened before gaining approval to go live.
Here is an excerpt of the changed Ad Guideline.
III. Ad Content
E. Gambling and Lotteries
Ads that promote or facilitate online gambling, games of skill or lotteries, including online casino, sports books, bingo, or poker, are only allowed in specific countries with prior authorization from Facebook.
Lottery commissions licensed or sponsored by government entities may advertise on Facebook; provided that ads must be targeted in accordance with applicable law in the jurisdiction in which the ads will be served and may only target users in the jurisdiction in which the lottery is available.
Ads that promote offline gambling establishments, such as offline casinos, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, are generally permitted, provided that ads must be appropriately targeted.
This news would sound even sweeter to offline gambling promoters as their ads will not need the consent from Facebook, however they must be targeted to users above 18 and in countries where gambling is legal.
The gambling ads cannot be purchased through the self-serve ads tool. Gambling advertisements as Facebook mentions will be available through direct sales partnership between the advertiser and the publisher requiring a monthly spend of $30,000 USD.
Well, the competition in the online gaming industry is fierce and this news will only add to it. However, all the advertising gurus of the top poker and casino rooms will have to sit down and calculate the actual ROI on the $30,000 USD.