An international operation has found that the affiliate marketing industry has significant issues to overcome in terms of compliance with rules concerning privacy and unsolicited communications.
Affiliate marketing is a commercial arrangement allowing a company to generate business by allowing other organisations (“affiliates”) to promote their products or services. For example, an online retailer may pay commission to an external website for traffic or sales generated from its referrals, by hosting links on its own site or sending links out via email or text message.
A global intelligence-gathering operation by the Unsolicited Communications Enforcement Network (UCENet), involving nine agencies from five countries, visited 902 websites and also examined 6,536 consumer complaints related to affiliate marketing in their respective databases. The issues they found included:
Apparent lack of self-regulation: A majority of participants noted that most of the publicly available terms of services between the affiliates, the merchants, and the affiliate platforms lacked appropriate unsolicited communication guidelines establishing what is permissible.
Lack of consent: Some participating countries that have an opt-in unsolicited communication regime noted that affiliates generally do not possess the consent of the consumer to send electronic communications.
Misleading advertising: Many participants noted the prevalence of misleading advertising in the affiliate marketing ecosystem. Within minutes of beginning their research, sweepers were exposed to some form of misleading advertising.
Affiliate marketing platforms: Some affiliate marketing platforms, which operate as a third party agent handling interactions and payments between merchants and affiliates, have a short lifespan (often less than a year) and conceal their physical location, potentially making enforcement a challenge.
Of the 902 international websites visited during the sweep, 221 were flagged for further action. However, the operation also found many examples of good practice in the industry, demonstrating that compliance with laws on unsolicited marketing can be easily achieved.
The UCENet Sweep 2017 was jointly led by the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
SLOTS TEMPLE GETS LICENSED IN UK, FREE SLOTS SITE NOW OFFERING CASH PRIZES
Slots Temple is first affiliate to win UKGC licensing, allowing it to offer real-money prizes for slots tournaments
Free online slots platform Slots Temple has become the first affiliate site to be awarded a UK Gambling Commission licence. That’s good news for slots fans. It means the company can now legally give out cash prizes for winners of its free-to-play tournaments.
Slots Temple offers free casino games and tournaments to players over the age of 18, where they can compete against others to get to the top of the leaderboard and win prizes.
The platform hosts more than 10,000 slots from some of the world’s best casino games studios, including Push Gaming, Relax Gaming ReelPlay and 4ThePlayer. The difference is, Slots Temple does not take any stake money. All its slots are completely free to play, no catch.
Instead, the company generates affiliate revenues when players sign up to real-money online casinos by clicking through banner advertising, although there is no obligation to do so.
Until now, Slots Temple has been unable to offer real-money prizes, just merchandise. But now, players can play their favourite slots while competing to win cash prizes of up to £5,000.
As well as cash prizes, Slots Temple will be launching a range of new tournament formats. These include Turbo Tournaments, which run for a short time only, and Risk Tournaments, where players are given a fixed balance and can adjust their bet size on each spin.
Currently, tournaments run daily, as well as weekly and monthly, so there’s plenty of opportunity to win those points and work your way up the leaderboard.
Fraser Linkleter, Director at Slots Temple said: “It’s always great to achieve an industry first, and we’re proud to be the first affiliate site to receive UKGC licensing. Licensees are held to high regulatory standards, and we believe this demonstrates our long-held commitment to social responsibility. But above all, the licence adds excitement and value for our users, who get to compete for cash while paying nothing up front. And what’s not to like about that?”
Largest Dutch poker affiliate complies with regulatory changes post introduction of new Dutch gambling law
PokerKamers.nl, one of the Netherlands’ first and largest poker affiliate sites, introduced a new policy that fully complies with the regulatory changes that came in effect after the Dutch Gambling Authority (Kansspelautoriteit/ KSA) introduced its set of rules for operators to offer legal poker in the Netherlands.
As of October 2021, PokerKamers.nl, a Dutch spoken website existing since 2006, launched its new website. The founders introduced a policy to comply with new regulations, after the new Dutch gambling law took effect on October 1st of 2021.
“Being fully compliant meant saying farewell to online poker sites that did not receive a license to legally operate in the Netherlands; this includes renowned sites like partypoker and bwin, as parent company Entain’s initial application got rejected,” said PokerKamers.nl founder Joris Koningsberg.
Entain plc, one of the world’s largest gambling/ gaming, poker, and betting operators, did not receive a license to offer their brands in the Netherlands, including their online poker sites, because they continued to accept Dutch customers after the market closed due to the Dutch Remote Gambling Act (Kansspel op Afstand/ KOA) on April 1st of 2021.
“It was an easy decision, because the only other option was working with illegal poker sites. And besides, one of our favorite partners (ed: Hillside plc’s bet365) did receive their license,” said Joris Koningsberg.
Meanwhile, all Entain brands now comply to the Dutch Gambling Authority’s cooling off period and the company is expected to obtain a license in the first half of 2022.
With the decision to be fully compliant to Dutch law and regulations, PokerKamers.nl also improved the overall quality of its website. A new look and feel, a comprehensive audit of all existing pages and many new, were completed before the launch of their new website.
“And there is more,” said PokerKamers.nl co-owner Oscar Oosterling, “We have added a poker course, several tools including a tournament filter and the M-Calculator, and poker cheat sheets. And our to-do list is only getting bigger.”
PokerKamers.nl is a website to keep on your radar the next few months. New gambling licenses will be issued, and this website will only list the very best of them. You can expect continuous updates and new features that improve the overall quality and user experience. And with PokerKamers.nl being a compliant poker affiliate, you can rest assured that you’re not going to be misled into signing up with shady – or illegal poker sites.
GiG adds Matching Visions to its growing list of partners for GiG Comply
Gaming Innovation Group Inc. (GiG) has signed an agreement with Malta-based affiliate network, Matching Visions, recently acquired by Acroud AB, for the provision of its B2B marketing compliance software, GiG Comply.
GiG’s automated marketing compliance solution allows operators and affiliate networks like Matching Visions to scan web pages for content, links and iGaming code red words. The rules engine based software analyses snapshots from advertising campaigns and provides insights in real-time of the content, which is being used by affiliates to promote operators brands.
As more markets regulate, the excelled need for brands to have a strong digital presence has resulted in heightened advertising regulations. It’s now more important than ever that operators and affiliate networks alike invest in marketing compliance software.
GiG Comply will support Matching Visions with its compliance strategy, helping to ensure that responsible gaming measures are visible on relevant pages, and terms and conditions are correct and up to date throughout all markets, it operates in.
Jonas Warrer, CMO at GiG, said: “ We look forward to supporting Matching Visions in its efforts to enhance its affiliate marketing compliance. The excelled demand for GiG Comply is a clear sign that more and more affiliates like Matching Visions are placing strong value on creating a more responsible and sustainable gaming movement – this makes us very proud.
Dennis Dyhr-Hansen, CEO at Matching Visions, said: It’s extremely important for us to ensure we remain 100% compliant no matter which geo or brand we are sending traffic to. We want to be completely transparent to all brands that work with us that we take compliance very seriously and will do what it takes to be at the forefront of compliance. We are proud to partner up with GiG Comply to make this happen!
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