The following analysis pertains to the proposed rules published by the North Carolina State Lottery Commission:

Key points to take away from the proposed legislation: 

  • Importantly, the rules do not mention licensing requirements for affiliate marketers.  
  • Rule 1I-004 states that the Operator is ultimately responsible for all advertising, marketing, and promotional materials disseminated on its behalf.  
  • Proposed Rule 1I-009 states that affiliate marketers must retain advertising materials for two (2) years.  

Below is a condensed version of each of the proposed rules related to marketing and advertising:  

Rule 1I-001 mandates operators to disclose their identity and brand in all promotional materials and emphasize the prohibition of underage individuals from wagering. Advertisements should avoid depicting underage persons, college students, or educational institutions and should not imply their endorsement. Operators must also avoid targeting vulnerable individuals and provide recipients with opt-out options for electronic communication advertising. 

Rule 1I-002 prohibits advertising to underage individuals, requiring advertisements to state that players must be 21 years or older. Operators must refrain from targeting underage persons, avoid using imagery or language associated with underage media, and restrict placement in media primarily used by minors or at events targeting them. Additionally, operator-owned websites with wagering content should include the legal age for wagering and prohibit the use of wagering advertisements on products intended for minors. 

Rule 1I-003 prohibits operators from advertising to individuals in the voluntary exclusion program. It also mandates avoiding direct advertising to excluded players through mail, text, electronic messages, or unsolicited pop-ups. 

Rule 1I-004 mandates that advertisements disclose the operator’s identity and holds operators responsible for all related advertising, marketing, or branding. It requires providing regulations to advertising personnel to ensure compliance and disclosing business relationships in social media content. Additionally, operators are prohibited from advertising illegal gambling in the state.  

Rule 1I-005 requires including the North Carolina Problem Gambling Helpline in advertising materials to promote responsible gaming. It emphasizes visibility and clarity of responsible gaming messaging and mandates that digital billboards display such messaging throughout the advertisement. 

Rule 1I-006 stipulates that operators can only make representations about winnings that are accurate, not misleading, and substantiated. Advertisements are deemed misleading if they present representations about average winnings without equally prominently representing the average net winnings of players. 

Rule 1I-007 prohibits unfair or deceptive advertising in the context of wagering. It mandates clear conveyance of conditions and information about wagering in advertisements while emphasizing the avoidance of promoting irresponsible gambling behavior. 

Rule 1I-008 requires operators to offer a clear method for individuals to opt out of receiving future direct advertisements and mandates operators to promptly honor opt-out requests. 

Rule 1I-009 mandates that operators must keep advertising materials for a duration of two years, and this requirement extends to affiliate marketers who must retain materials related to wagering promotion for the same period. 

Please note that these rules are pending final rulemaking, and we advise adhering to them until further updates are provided.