Google is allowing gambling adverts to be displayed in Britain – the first in any country since a self-imposed ban by the dotcom giant in 2004.
Google has been reviewing its gambling advertising policy 'to ensure it is as consistent as possible with local business practices', said James Cashmore, industry leader, entertainment and media, at the company. 'We hope this change will enhance the search experience for users and help advertisers connect with interested consumers.'
Google banned the ads when the US Congress infamously cracked down on online gambling in 2004, an attitude that continues with the currently-enforced Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. The lifting of the ban is excellent news for the industry:
'We rely a lot on advertising as our shop window,' said Clive Hawkswood, the chief executive of the Remote Gambling Association, whose members include Ladbrokes, PartyGaming, 888 and other online gaming sites. 'Our products are online so the marketing will be using Google a fair bit.'