All of us that have worked in casino gaming have probably seen the following phrase a NUMBER of times, “Your ad was rejected because it doesn’t comply with our advertising policies. To learn more, view your ad in Account Quality. You can request a review if you think your ad was incorrectly rejected.”
The dreaded ad rejection notice. In the gaming industry, the appearance of this notice is often coupled with feelings of immense confusion because Facebook’s ad policy on gambling states the following, “The following types of activity do not require (prior written) permission: promotion of physical, real-money gambling activity or establishments. Ex: ‘brick and mortar casinos’ in Las Vegas, entertainment events at casinos or streaming of offline poker tournaments, provided the ad/landing page does not promote or facilitate online gambling.”
What this means is that brick-and-mortar casinos do not need prior permission from Facebook to advertise. However, these brick and mortar locations still get their ads rejected with regularity for a “violation” of Facebook’s gambling policy.
Recent changes to Facebook’s advertising platform ahead of changes coming to iOS 14 and a potential business interest in expanding the role of their “ad specialist” team have compounded this issue for a lot of casino pages who are trying to advertise on the platform. In an attempt to control advertising in the gambling space Facebook has a publicly accessible form that pages can use to “apply” for permission to advertise. Now, I know what you are thinking, Facebook’s ad policy does not require brick-and-mortar casinos to apply for permission to advertise so why would I apply for permission? Well, because Facebook’s algorithm clearly doesn’t understand how to differentiate online gambling from brick and mortar gambling.
It’s a disappointing reality to contemplate that a company with so many resources at its disposal cannot understand a VERY simple difference, and yet here we are. The form itself is not overly difficult to complete, you can find it here, but the additional documentation they require at the bottom is where some people may get intimidated. Full of legalese, these documents may be best suited to hand off to your legal department, though they do not require any information that is difficult to acquire. Our hope, and the hope of a lot of other casino marketers, is that by filling this form out even if your property does not offer or promote online gambling that advertising within the Facebook universe becomes easier for all of us.
If you or someone you know needs help with this process please don’t hesitate to contact us.
P.S. The ad rejection that inspired this blog was published within a few hours of being reviewed. We’ve found that quoting Facebook’s own ad policy back to them helps in these types of situations.