Marketing Restrictions in Regulated Markets: Common Issues

The gambling industry is tightly controlled, from countries where it is outlawed entirely to ones where every move is monitored. It can feel like you’re walking on eggshells and if you’re the one tasked with marketing gambling brands in restricted regions, the issues and potential pitfalls are even greater.

The two biggest challenges that marketers face today are those involved with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations. Abiding by the strict rules and processes concerning these two issues is essential for gambling companies seeking to avoid regulatory penalties.

KYC Challenges

Know Your Customer processes are used to identify players in online casinos and sports books. It begins with an account verification process, one that is often required before the customer can withdraw any money.

KYC essentially confirms that a customer is who they say they are, thus helping to prevent fraud, underage gambling, and other serious issues.

In recent years, KYC has increasingly been used to prevent problem gambling, a hot topic in the online gambling industry. Regulators want to keep gambling addictions to a minimum, ensuring that problems are detected before they develop and that players are protected before things get out of hand.

This can be a massive issue for marketing teams as regulators are very strict with regards to bonuses, offers, and marketing.

In Sweden, for instance, casinos are only allowed to offer 1 bonus per player. This has caused many problems for promoters as it contradicts one of the basic rules of online gambling: More bonuses are always better.

Not only do casinos risk fines and suspensions if they violate this rule, but they have also been forced to rethink their promotions. In the past, online casino streamers were offered bonuses in exchange for promoting casinos; it was a deal that benefited both parties, allowing casinos to keep traffic high without spending real cash. But by offering multiple bonuses, they will be in breach of this law and, therefore, can no longer go down this route.

The UK Gambling Commission has also forced strict rules onto UK casinos. Credit card use was banned and casinos were told to look for signs of problem gambling, including repeat cancelled withdrawals, excessive deposits, and all-day gambling. If they fail to prevent such activity, they may face fines and suspensions.

AML Challenges

Gambling sites are often targeted by money launderers and the sites need to be on top of this issue if they want to stay within regulatory guidelines. Not only do they need to monitor AML regulations in their own jurisdictions but they also need to focus on the jurisdictions in which they operate.

AML processes include monitoring for multiple accounts and suspicious betting activity and this often goes hand-in-hand with KYC. Also known as Enhanced Due Diligence, it requires advanced systems and attentive analysis to detect issues and deal with them accordingly.

Gambling sites can work with banks and other financial institutions to deal with these issues. The systems and processes that these companies use are similar to those employed by the online gambling industry. Furthermore, while the criminals are getting more adept at moving money around and using unsuspecting gambling sites to do so, the software and processes used to stop them are also getting more advanced.


As you can see, marketing departments at major gambling brands have a lot of work on their hands if they want to stay on the regulator’s good side. It’s a delicate process that needs to be managed carefully while keeping track of any regulatory changes. Only then can they hope to avoid fines and other issues while maximising traffic and revenue.