Google to Allow NFT Gaming Ads, Restricts Staking & Gambling

Beginning September 15, you will start to see more NFT gaming ads on Google, as the tech giant recently updated its cryptocurrency advertising policy

The updated policy will now permit advertisements for NFT games that enable players to purchase in-game items like virtual apparel, weapons, or armor, enhancing the gaming experience. 

However, the updated policy prohibits the advertisement of any and all “gambling or gambling services” – so don’t expect to see any ads for games that involve:

  • Games that promote NFT wagering or staking in exchange for the opportunity to win anything of real-world value (including other NFTs);
  • Games that allow players to stake NFTs in exchange for other digital currencies, including the promotion of “social casino games” that reward players with an NFT;
  • Games that simulate casino gambling, such as poker, slots, or roulette that allow players to potentially win an NFT;
  • Games that promote “real money gambling” destinations, including gambling-related advertisements that appear on your game’s destination.

To legally advertise gambling-related content that incorporates NFTs, developers and publishers are required to acquire the appropriate Google Ads certification and adhere to Google’s Gambling and games policy

The revised policy also prohibits NFT casino games and any social betting systems that enable users to wager NFTs, cash, or cryptocurrencies for real-world rewards. 

Developers and publishers seeking to advertise gambling-related content incorporating NFTs must adhere to Google’s Gambling and games policy and acquire the appropriate Google Ads certification.

Previous Blanket Ban on Crypto

This shift in Google’s advertising policy marks a notable change since March 2018, where Google enacted a blanket ban on all crypto-related advertising on its platforms. Ultimately, this raised questions about whether this ban would be permanent or subject to review. 

Scott Spencer, Google’s director of sustainable ads at the time, cited concerns of potential consumer harm as the reason for the cautious approach to cryptocurrency ads.

However, the tech giant lifted the ban in June 2021, permitting certain crypto-related companies, specifically “cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets targeting the United States,” to advertise on the platform. However, these companies were required to be registered with the United States Financial Crimes Enforcement Network as either a money services business or a federal or state-chartered bank entity.

It’s worth noting that the lifting of the ban didn’t leave a pathway for ICO advertisements, DeFi trading protocols, or other mechanisms that sought to promote the buying and selling of crypto or other similar products. 

The new policy shift signals a more nuanced approach to crypto and blockchain-related advertising, making this an interesting, but highly risky decision by Google’s parent company, Alphabet, to better publicize the nature of the NFT landscape.

Editor’s note: This article was written by an nft now staff member in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-3.

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