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Microsoft Advertising policies

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February 14, 2022

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Gambling and lotteries

Gambling and lotteries

Microsoft’s policy on gambling advertising differs by country and region. As an advertiser, it is your responsibility to comply with all applicable local and national regulations. Microsoft can refuse an ad or make exceptions to the policy even if an ad complies with the policies. Ads and keywords that are acceptable under one country’s policies might not be acceptable under another. If you advertise in two or more countries, you will need to make any changes necessary to comply with all of the policies. These polices apply to all forms of currency including real and virtual currency.

Advertising for websites that promote or facilitate, directly or indirectly, online gambling or wagering is not allowed in the following markets:

  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam

Disallowed Gambling Content

Advertisers who are not authorized to serve gambling ads in a targeted market, or are targeting a market where gambling is not allowed cannot promote the following content:

  • Any content that facilitates, promotes, or is affiliated in any way with online gambling or wagering of any type.
  • Websites that contain links that direct site visitors to prohibited gambling content, regardless of the location of the links or whether the offer originates in a geographic region where gambling is legal. In other words, it must be impossible for a site visitor to navigate from your website to any prohibited gambling or wagering content.
  • Educational, “learn to play,” “practice” and other free simulation sites that are affiliated with an online gambling site.
  • Links to games and contests (non-prohibited gambling content) are allowed.
Diagram illustrating a search ad leading to a permitted, non-gambling website.

You may not link to online gambling content from the non-gambling website.

Diagram illustrating a search ad leading to a non-gambling website, which then leads to online gambling content.

Responsible gaming messaging

  • Advertising must not misrepresent or glorify the benefits of gambling or encourage people to play beyond their means.
  • Advertising may not imply or suggest that gambling is a viable alternative to employment or financial investments, a way to recover from financial losses, or that skills may affect the outcome of a game of chances.
  • Information on the odds of winning and prize amounts must be described accurately and must not be misrepresented. Advertisers may not present winning as the most probable outcome of the game, nor misrepresent a person’s chance of winning a prize.
  • Targeting minors is not allowed. Advertising must not be directed toward individuals under the applicable minimum age to participate in online gambling or served in a context where it is highly likely it will be displayed to such individuals. This includes, but it is not limited to, the use of language, themes, expressions, graphic resources, audio or visual elements that may appeal to underage individuals or using individuals who are or appear to be underage in promotional content or on the website.

Markets that permit gambling advertising

In certain markets, Microsoft allows advertising for websites that promote or facilitate online gambling, accept wagers, or require payment in exchange for the chance to win prizes provided that advertisers comply with the following restrictions.

  • Online gambling advertisers must comply with all applicable legislation.
  • The gambling operator must comply with licensing or registration requirements in each market where their content is serving.
  • Sites must not accept or procure bets from residents of countries where online gambling is disallowed, such as Colombia or India, for example.
  • Ads that are acceptable under one country’s policy guidelines might not be acceptable under another. If you advertise in two or more countries, you will need to make any changes necessary to comply with all the policy guidelines.
  • Offline gambling/brick-and-mortar casinos: Advertising for sites promoting offline gambling, establishments, or events in accordance with local, state and federal laws and regulations are allowed unless otherwise noted. Ads must not (1) glamorize gambling, (2) falsely or unfairly raise hopes and expectations of winning or (3) link to online gambling sites.
  • Lotteries: Advertising for government run lotteries in accordance with local, state and federal laws and regulations is allowed unless otherwise noted.
  • Online gambling: Advertising for websites that promote or facilitate, directly or indirectly, online gambling or wagering is allowed only in the countries listed below with strict adherence to local laws.
  • Geo-targeting and age targeting 18+ are required.
  • Proof of eligibility/license is required.
  • Online gambling sites include:
    • Sites that accept wagers or require payment in exchange for the chance to win prizes, as well as sites that offer both information and links related primarily to the promotion of online gambling.
    • Any content that facilitates, promotes, or is affiliated in any way with online gambling or wagering of any type.
    • Websites that contain links that direct site visitors to prohibited gambling content, regardless of the location of the links or whether the offer originates in a geographic region where gambling is legal. In other words, it must be impossible for a site visitor to navigate from your website to any prohibited gambling or wagering content.
    • Educational, “learn to play”, “practice” and other free simulation sites, including .net sites that are affiliated with an online gambling site.
    • Games of chance, gaming & casino games and spread betting.

Country Restrictions

Gambling restrictions vary by market. If a market is not listed, gambling ads are prohibited.

Albania
  • Advertising for sports betting, online gambling, or other games of chance, and brick and mortar casinos is not allowed. 
    • Advertising for National Lottery and televised bingo is allowed. 
Australia
  • Gambling operators must be state licensed in Australia and may not target other markets.  
  • In addition, advertisers must represent, covenant, and warrant to Microsoft that the advertising is in compliance with applicable laws and guidelines including all registration requirements. Advertisers must provide Microsoft with their proof of license upon request.
Belgium
  • Gambling operators must be licensed by the Belgian Gaming Commission.
  • Non-licensed games of chance (online included) are explicitly forbidden.
Bosnia-Herzegovinia
Brazil
  • Advertising for National Lotteries is allowed. Advertisers, their agents and service providers must comply with all applicable regulations and best practices.
Canada
  • Gambling operators must be physically located in Canada.
  • Targeting minors is not allowed.
  • Advertisers must comply with applicable regulations and industry best practices, including responsible gaming messaging, non-deceptive description of odds of winning, and prize amounts.
  • Advertisers promoting provincial lotteries must have authorization from the applicable government agency.
Croatia
  • Advertisers must have authorization and have executed an agreement on concession with the Ministry of Finance. 
  • Lottery services are allowed only by Croatian Lottery Ltd.
Czech Republic
  • Online gambling advertising is allowed. If an advertiser also operates a game of chance, a license for operation of the game of chance is required. 
Denmark
Estonia
  • Advertising for games of skill, betting, and national lottery are allowed.  
    • Advertisers must be licensed by the Estonian Tax and Customs Board.  
    • Advertising for brick-and-mortar casinos must also follow these policies. 
  • Advertising for other games of chance is not allowed. 
Finland
  • Gambling operators must be state licensed.
France
  • Gambling operators must be authorized by the Autorité de Régulation des Jeux en Ligne (ARJEL).
  • Also, content must not:
    • Encourage gambling addiction.
    • Raise expectations of a better lifestyle or other improvements.
    • Promote financial loans services.
    • Target an underage audience, redirect to sites dedicated to a young audience, or promote youth related sponsoring events.
Germany
  • Gambling operators must have a license to operate in market and a permission for advertising according to the German Advertising Directive (Werberichtlinie). Additionally, advertising for all types of permitted gambling offerings (limited to lotteries, sports and horse betting, as well as its brokering) must each comply with the German Advertising Directive (Werberichtlinie), as well as any other applicable legal requirements.
  • Advertisers must guarantee, represent, covenant, and warrant to Microsoft that the advertising is in compliance with the necessary advertising permission according to the German Advertising Directive (Werberichtlinie)
  • Advertisers must provide Microsoft with their advertising permission upon request.
Greece
  • These policies apply to all forms of gambling advertising including, but not limited to, online gambling, state lotteries, sweepstakes, brick and mortar casinos, and horse racing organizations.   
    • Advertisers must hold a valid license and provide a copy of their approval to advertise.  
    •  Advertisers must submit their communication plans to the supervisory authority (Hellenic Gaming Commission) for approval prior to advertising. 
    • Advertisers cannot target users under the age of 21. 
    • Advertisers are responsible for ensuring that all required ad content such as warning against gaming addiction for example, is included. 
Hungary
Iceland
  • Advertisers must be licensed by the government and provide proof of license to participate. 
  • Advertising for brick-and-mortar casinos is prohibited.
  • Informational sites that encourage participation in gambling activities is not allowed.
India
  • Games of chance where it is possible to win money or prizes are not allowed, even where no payment or consideration is involved.
Indonesia
  • Advertising for brick-and-mortar casinos is prohibited.
Ireland
  • Online gambling advertisers must be registered as a bookmaker with Revenue Commissioners and provide a valid license number.
Italy
  • Gambling ads are not allowed with the exception of state sponsored lottery ads.
  • Advertising for brick-and-mortar casinos is prohibited.
Japan
  • Gambling ads are not allowed with the exception of state- run lottery.
  • Advertising for brick-and-mortar casinos is prohibited.
Latvia
  • Gambling advertising is not allowed with the exception of authorized lottery advertising. 
  • Advertising for brick-and-mortar casinos is prohibited.
Lithuania
  • Advertisers must be licensed by the Ministry of Finance to advertise and operate in Lithuania. 
  • Advertising must contain a warning message on the addictive nature of gambling. 
  • In addition to the warning message, ads can contain only the following (any other visual, audial, or written information is not allowed): 
    • Name of the company organizing gambling 
    • Their trademark 
    • Types of gambling being offered 
  • Promotion to participate in gambling activities, including social games where money cannot be won, must comply with the above requirements. 
Luxembourg
  • Advertisers must be authorized by the Luxembourg Ministry of Justice.
Macedonia
Malaysia
  • Advertising for brick-and-mortar casinos is prohibited.
Mexico
  • Advertisers must comply with applicable regulations and industry best practices, including possessing the authorization from the Department of the Interior. The license number must be displayed on the website. Advertisers that promote content related to online gambling must represent, covenant and warrant to Microsoft that they are in compliance with all applicable laws and policies including all registration requirements and will provide Microsoft with evidence of compliance upon request.
Montenegro
  • Advertisers must be authorized by the Montenegrin Game of Chance Authority. 
Netherlands
  • Advertisers must be licensed by the Dutch Authority on Games of Chance (Kansspelautoriteit) or by a local municipality, whichever applies.
New Zealand
  • The promotion of online gambling conducted remotely through a communication device (e.g., using online gambling sites on a computer or cell phone) in the form of sales promotion schemes, approved lottery games and other forms of gambling conducted in New Zealand, which are promoted by the New Zealand Lotteries Commission or authorized under the Gambling Act 2003 or the Racing Act 2003 is allowed. Certain geographic restrictions on where advertisements can be distributed may apply.
Norway
  • Advertisers must be state licensed through the Norwegian Gaming and Foundation Authority.
Poland
  • Advertising for wheel games, card games, dice games, machine games (including games played on mechanical devices), and mutual betting (betting pools) are not allowed. are not allowed.
  • Advertisers must hold a valid Polish license.
  • Advertising for brick-and-mortar casinos is not allowed.
  • Any game where a prize can be won, including non-cash prizes (including continuation of the game without paying for participation) is subject to these policies.
Portugal
Romania
  • Advertisers must be licensed by the Romanian National Office for Gambling.
  • Advertising must make it clear that gambling is prohibited for minors via an 18+ symbol.
  • Advertising must contain the number and series of the gambling operator granted by the Romanian National Office for Gambling.
Serbia
  • Advertisers must be licensed by the Government of the Republic of Serbia.
  • Advertising for games of chance, sweepstakes, and casino-related games where no money is exchanged cannot:
    • Contain ungrounded statements regarding chance of winning or revenue which may be expected.
    • Suggest that skill may affect the outcome of the game if that is not the case.
    • Exert pressure in view of participating in games of chance or underrating non-participation.
    • Present participation as socially acceptable or correlate participation to success or social status.
    • Suggest participation may solve social, professional, or personal problems.
    • Suggest participation may be a substitute for employment or resolution of financial issues.
  • Advertising must contain a warning on the prohibition of participation of children and minors and utilize a bridge page that prevents minors from participating in games of chance.
  • Advertising of sale promotions for participation in games of chance must contain in a clear manner the rules of use of the sale promotion, particularly special requirements that the consumer must meet in order to use the sale promotion.
Slovakia
Slovenia
  • Gambling operators must be licensed in Slovenia.
  • Advertising must not claim that the winnings may depend on knowledge or other factors that the consumer may influence.
  • Advertising for games of chance may not promise that the purchase of a product may brink good luck or that the absence of a purchase will bring misfortune.
  • Advertising for resorts that have a casino in them should not promote the casino in the ad.
South Africa
  • The authorized activity being advertised must be licensed under the National Gambling Act.
  • Advertising for online gambling is not allowed.
  • Advertising may be allowed for sports betting (when money is not exchanged online).
  • Advertising for state run lottery is allowed.
  • Advertising for allowed gambling activity may not:
    • Portray excessive play.
    • Contain claims or representations that persons who gamble are guaranteed personal, financial or social success.
    • Must not include any element that directly or indirectly promotes or encourages the removal of a person from the register of excluded persons.
    • Represent or imply that the chances of winning increase with frequency.
  • Advertising for a gambling machine or device, gambling activity, or licensed location where gambling activities are available must:
    • Include a statement warning against the dangers of addictive and compulsive gambling.
    • Contain all information required by applicable provincial legislation.
    • Comply with the requirements of the relevant provincial legislation.
Spain
Sweden
  • Advertisers must be licensed through Spelinspektionen. The Spelinspektionen logo must be clearly displayed on the website.
Switzerland
  • Microsoft Advertising allows advertising for National lotteries. Advertisers, their agents and service providers must comply with all applicable regulations and best practices. Advertisers must be individually approved.
  • Gambling operators must have the required license granted by the Federal Council.
Thailand
  • Advertising for brick-and-mortar casinos is prohibited.
Turkey
  • Advertising for online gambling and brick and mortar casinos is not allowed.
  • Advertising for games of chance is not allowed, even if money is not exchanged.
  • Advertising for state-run lotteries is allowed.
  • Advertising for sports betting and chance games in sports is allowed only by the Spor Toto Organization.
United Kingdom
  • The gambling operator must be licensed or otherwise authorized by the U.K. Gambling Commission and be in compliance with any applicable legal requirements. Proof of license must be displayed on the website, preferably on the landing page, and be otherwise verifiable on the U.K. Gambling Commission website.
United States
  • Microsoft allows advertising for online lottery games and paid fantasy sports. Advertisers must be individually approved.
  • Advertisers of online lottery games must be an appropriate U.S. State lottery commission, agency or authority, or its licensee contractually authorized and currently in good standing, to operate online lottery games on behalf of the State.
  • Advertisers, their agents and service providers must comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations of the licensing State(s).
  • Advertisers of paid fantasy sports must EXCLUDE the following U.S. States from their campaigns:
    • Arkansas (AR), Arizona (AZ), Illinois (IL), Iowa (IA), Hawaii (HI), Kansas (KS), Louisiana (LA), Montana (MT), Nevada (NV), North Dakota (ND), Tennessee (TN), Texas (TX), Vermont (VT) and Washington State (WA).  Microsoft does not permit advertising of paid fantasy sports in the foregoing states.
  • At all times while ad campaigns are running, advertisers must be in compliance with all applicable regulations, including the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), as well as industry best practices.
  • Targeting minors is not allowed.
  • Advertisers must comply with applicable regulations and industry best practices, including responsible gaming messaging, non-deceptive description of odds of winning, and prize amounts.
  • Microsoft may also impose certain additional geographic restrictions on where advertisements may be distributed.
  • Advertisers may not promote or link to unauthorized online gambling content.
  • In addition to the applicable Terms and Conditions and/or alternate contractual agreement(s) in place with Microsoft, advertisers are required to sign a supplemental document making certain representations and warranties to Microsoft that they are in compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations, and will provide Microsoft (upon request) with evidence of their appropriate licensure and compliance.
Vietnam
  • Advertising for brick-and-mortar casinos is prohibited.

XBOX XBOX

  • Content that facilitates or promotes gambling is not allowed globally.

MSN MSN

  • Paid fantasy sports advertising is not allowed in the US.

NATIVE NATIVE

  • Advertising for gambling is not allowed.

AUDIENCE AUDIENCE

  • Advertising for gambling is not allowed.

SEARCH SEARCH

Gambling and contests advertising participation
As an advertiser, you may bid on keywords that are commonly associated with online gambling or wagering, provided that neither your ad nor your landing page promotes online gambling or wagering.
 
Advertisers must apply to participate in the Gambling and Contests Advertising Program and agree to the Terms & Conditions. Additional content restrictions may apply. Gambling and contest ads may not be distributed through all of the advertising distribution options and may appear only in text search ads. If you would like to apply, please complete, and submit the Gambling and contests advertising program participation form.
 
Your application may be considered separately for each country in which you want to display ads.
 
  • Advertisers purchasing gambling-related keywords and advertising aggregated content for third-party gambling services (providing links to the websites) must agree to ensure that their partners comply with the policy set out above.

Sweepstakes, Contests and competitions

In markets that permit online gambling advertising, ads for contests and competitions are generally allowed provided they comply with all applicable legislation. Advertising that promotes participation based on payment or consideration is subject to the same restrictions listed above for permitted gambling sites. Such programs may include, but are not limited to, random drawings, trivia contests, word games, spelling bees, essay contests, free-gift offer / loyalty programs, and photography contests.
 
In markets that prohibit online gambling advertising, ads are generally allowed for contests and free lotteries provided that they do not constitute online wagering. Such sites must give the user clear and factual information and comply with all applicable local and national regulations. For example, in the United States, sweepstakes where no purchase is necessary are allowed.
 
Advertising that promotes any contest with a specific offer, or where participation is subject to specific terms, must include qualifying text that is relevant to the offer in the ad and must indicate in the ad that additional terms and conditions apply.
 
If participation is contingent on another action, such as signing up for a service, or if specific terms apply, these prerequisites or terms should be set forth clearly and prominently on the website before the site visitor signs up.
 
South Africa

Ads for promotional competitions must clearly state:

  • The benefit or competition to which the offer relates.
  • Steps required to accept the offer or participate in the competition.
  • Basis on which the results of the competition will be determined.
  • Closing date for the competition.
  • Medium through which results will be made known.
  • Details about how a person may obtain a copy of the rules.
  • Details about how a successful participant may receive any prize.