How Will Elon Musk's Takeover Impact Sports Betting On Twitter?
Bill Speros | 4 mins
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Twitter has a user policy on nearly everything, including gambling and sports betting.
How will that change under the ownership of Elon Musk, who reached a deal on Monday to buy the company and take it private? Musk’s “last and final offer” for Twitter of $54.20 a share was accepted by the board of directors after a week of drama. Musk was moved in part to buy the company because of concerns surrounding political speech on the platform.
Would Musk, who has been vocal about being an absolutist when it comes to free speech, loosen Twitter's policies on gambling-related content?
Less Is More For Musk
It is widely believed Musk will trim many of the restrictions, or “terms of service,” Twitter users agree to follow when they sign up to use the platform.
The current Twitter policy on gambling-related content is a confounding 2,427 words long.
The platform’s default position on the promotion of gambling content is that it’s prohibited: “Except for campaigns targeting specified countries where it is allowed with restrictions.”
The platform is explicit toward prohibiting gambling-related advertising unless the users have been pre-approved by the “Twitter account team.”
Whomever that happens to be.
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Among the areas covered by the current policy: Online casinos and gambling; sports betting and betting apps; online fantasy sports sites; bonus codes for gambling content and websites “facilitating or leading to online gambling-related content.”
Ads for brick-and-mortar casinos are allowed if they are targeted toward specific countries where they already exist, including the United States, Canada, the UK and Ireland.
The restrictions vary by country.
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Sports betting ads in the United States are permitted, as are ads for gambling affiliate and aggregator sites, daily fantasy sports, lotteries, casinos, online poker and horse racing.
The advertiser must be based in the U.S. and the ads must include “appropriate disclaimers,” be age appropriate to the given user, and “be subject to additional requirements at Twitter's sole discretion.”
Therein lies the problem with many who use the website now. No one really knows what Twitter offers at its sole discretion, until it is offered.
Similar requirements exist in Canada. Sports betting in Ontario went online earlier this month.
On Twitter in Canada, casino games and sport betting advertisements run by specific provincial agencies are permitted. These advertisers are only allowed with prior approval from Twitter. Single-event sports betting advertisements are permitted with restrictions. These advertisers are only allowed with prior approval from Twitter. Fantasy sports ads are permitted.
If users have any questions, they’re free to fill out a ticket and await word from … somewhere.
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Changes Across The Twitter Platform?
Musk’s desire to take Twitter private was seen by some analysts to be an effort to wean the company off being reliant on advertising for revenue. Musk's $44 billion deal to buy Twitter is an all-cash deal. It is not known how the company will be structured under Musk, nor are there any known plans to curtail paid promotions or advertising.
If Twitter does continue to accept ads under Musk, the default position would likely remain in place given that gaming is heavily regulated from one country to the next. While Musk would likely push for a more open, content-neutral, utility-like platform, he won’t have final say over how individual nations regulate internet users and content.
Even a less restrictive attitude toward content and speech won’t necessarily translate into the advertising in the gaming space because of both age and geographic restrictions.
Sports betting content, on the other hand, faces few restrictions on Twitter. Users share NFL picks, NBA odds, as well as picks and odds for all manner of other sports, plus tickets and gambling-related opinions – at least in the United States – with no visible limits.
Expect more of that in the future, especially from someone who can fire a rocket into space and land it without even a scratch.