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Regulations Suck, But As Affiliates, We Should Comply

 by Dan   Posted: 07/15/2018
I just opened my Inbox and found a "ransomware" message. It had my email address and one of my passwords in the title. The contents were a blackmail message instructing me to pay a ransom to a BTC address or my private information would be released to the public. It definitely gave me a bit of a scare, and was not a great way to start the day!

This message was a good reminder to always use different passwords for each account I create, and to change them often. That's the obvious part. What it REALLY reminded me was that true crime still does exist on the Internet.

As affiliates in the gambling and financial industries, we work in a business that some people don't like. These stubborn folks might consider what we do immoral and "bad". Therefore, to differentiate ourselves from the real bad guys, it's especially important for us to stay on the right side of the law. To do this we must pay attention to new regulations that affect the affiliate industries we promote.

Ah, yes. The regulations. Surely you have had at least a few dozen emails regarding ESMA, ASA, GDPR and other such acronyms. The first two are government organizations trying to tighten the rules on what affiliates can promote, and how we can promote. Affiliate programs have been scrambling to inform us about these new sets of rules. Some operators have chosen to end their affiliate program altogether. Others have chosen to drop a significant number of affiliates.

The ESMA is the European Securities and Markets Authority, of the European Union. Its new rules will significantly restrict how retail (non-professional) European clients can trade, and how we as affiliates can market to them. They will be limited to 30:1 leverage (2:1 on cryptocurrencies), given a negative balance protection, and will not be eligible to receive bonuses. Promoting binary options to retail traders is prohibited. All offers must include a standardised risk warning.

The ASA is the Advertising Standards Authority, of the United Kingdom. Its new rules, which were made along with the UKGC and CMA, affect UK gamblers and affiliates who target them. They require all websites and promotional posts to include an "18+" logo, and a "Gamble responsibly" disclaimer along with a link to a problem gambling site. The type of language that can be used in ads has also become very restrictive. It might not seem like much, but when you have to include that beside every single link, it really adds up.

While it will be very annoying to try to comply with all of the new rules, they might actually have some benefits for us. For example, adding the "18+" logo to the bottom of your casino site does make it look more credible. This could lead to an increase in conversions and traffic. The ESMA definitely goes too far on their binary prohibition, but their CFD requirements are reasonable. Many of the best operators in Forex have already been limiting leverage, bonuses, and providing negative balance protection. Also, the risk warnings add a look of credibility to your offers.

Being located outside of Europe, I am not as threatened by these new regulations as some of you will be. Still, I will be implementing them the best I can. This will certainly be time-consuming and frustrating, but once completed it will give my websites and social media accounts a much more professional look. If nothing else, that should help to further separate my business from the pathetic acts of cyber criminals. After all, I have been in this game for over 10 years. I am in this for the long haul, not just to make a quick buck.

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