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Gambling Affiliates Get Limited Approval from NY Regulators

Life just got a little easier for casino affiliates with their eyes on the booming regulated gaming industry in New York after gaming commissioners relented a bit on affiliate regulations. After much debate on the subject, and some confusing mixed-messaging, the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) has decided that cost-per-acquisition affiliate marketing models would be allowed in the state.

This week’s decision comes on the heels of a draft regulation released last week that seemed to ban affiliate marketing entirely. That proposed rule read, “No casino sports wagering licensee or sports pool vendor may enter into an agreement with a third party to conduct advertising, marketing, or branding on behalf of, or to the benefit of, such licensee when compensation for such services is dependent on, or related to, the volume of patrons, wagers placed, or the outcome of the wagers.”

During this week’s meeting of the Commission, Commissioner Jerry Skurnik explained the turnaround saying, “Upon further consideration, staff believe the proposed regulation would effectively prohibit affiliate marketing businesses from being compensated, which was unintended.”

The new rule reads, “Each affiliate marketing partner shall disclose in its media, in a reasonably prominent manner (e.g., after a writer’s byline, after editorial content, in an “about” link on a webpage that is accessible from the page on which editorial content appears), whether such affiliate marketing partner has agreed to promote, refer potential customers to, or conduct advertising, marketing or branding on behalf of, or to the benefit of, one or more casino sports wagering licensees or sports pool vendors. Each casino sports wagering licensee or sports pool vendor shall cause each of its affiliate marketing partners to comply with this paragraph.”

In a comment reported on by SBC America, NYGC Chairman Brian O’Dwyer explained that the affiliate marketing rules could still change again in the future. “If I find that within the next six months to a year that there has been significant problems with the type of advertising that’s coming down I will come back to the staff and to my fellow Commissioners and ask that we revisit that rule and prohibit third-party advertising,” he said.

For now anyways, casino affiliates have a tenuous toe hold in that very lucrative NY gaming market.