Online gambling is subject to governmental legislation, all over the world. In some countries, gambling on the internet falls into a legal grey area: people are not allowed to gamble online, but at the same time, they cannot be prosecuted for doing it anyway. It is the player’s responsibility to find out wether or not it is allowed to gamble online, in his or her particular country. In some countries, it is also prohibited to run a gambling website. A creative solution is then to locate servers and offices in other countries. The countries that allow online casinos to operate, have strict regulations to ensure for example that a casino does not cheat players out of money. Nowadays, a casino’s success and popularity are for the bigger part determined by the affiliates they cooperate with. The affiliate regulation is inseparably linked to the gambling regulation.
Affiliate regulation in the USA
Like with under age drinking, each state decides themselves what kind of gambling it allows within state’s borders. The state also decides the age that a person is allowed to gamble. There is an overall 21-years restriction to enter a casino, in line with the no alcohol policy. But in the same state, it can easily be legal to buy a lottery ticket at the age of 18. More and more states are reconsidering the online gambling act. New Jersey has paved the way in legalizing online gaming websites, Pennsylvania is the latest to have filed a bill to legalize online gambling. This opens up opportunities for the existing honest affiliates and starting affiliates. Just like casinos need to buy a license to operate legally, an affiliate needs to buy a vendors permit which then allows the affiliate to promote the legal casinos that are listed as legal. Nowadays, affiliates can be prosecuted for acting outside the law. For example, in New Jersey, the Poker affiliates have been summoned to “immediately remove any online gaming links that are not authorized under the federal law or under the law of any state”. This is now considered a fourth degree crime, and be fined up to $100,000. So no more promoting unlicensed online pokersites.
Affiliate regulation in Europe
Online gambling is the fastest growing activity in the EU, with a annual growth of 15%. Some European countries have a monopolistic structure with an exclusive right only. This exclusivity can be a public or a private operator. Other member states have a license system, where one can buy a license to run an online casino, provided that certain requirements are met. And in again other countries, it is just not legal to gamble online. As for the affiliates, the affiliation regulation depends on the country they are operating from. But the fundamental principle of affiliation is never illegal, since it is merely a form of publishing, although some governmental authorities might conclude otherwise.