Doing business as an international gambling operator has never been easy. Besides trying to keep your product healthy in regulated markets, and out of black markets, finding advertisers and advertising platforms has always been a headache. Because regulators always fear that children will be lead astray by an errant visit to an online casino, operators’ advertising has been a particular target of regulatory interest, and that’s proving true with the case of advertisements from file sharing sites.
Gambling operators from Bangkok to Moscow are under increased pressure from government regulators to stop running ads from illicit file sharing sites like movie2free.com. These sites frequently provide bootleg access to first-run films and music, and are the scourge of the entertainment industry and frequently advertise on gambling sites. One recently busted file site in Thailand was pulling in about $165,000 a month and advertising heavily on gambling sites like 1xBet.
In the United States, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPA) is calling attention to 1xBet’s use of file sharing ads in the US Trade Representative. In their recently issued report they say that a full 16 percent the ads on the company’s websites are for illicit file sharing sites.
In Russia, according to CalvinAyre.com, 1xBet was one of the country’s largest video advertisers, trailing only Google and Pepsi. Many of those ads were from file sharing sites and drew scrutiny from Russia’s telecom watchdog Roskomnadzor. Roskomnadzor recently blocked a large number of those file sharing sites.
In short, gambling operators that accept ads from illicit international file sharing sites are setting themselves up for increased attention from local regulators.