London-based online casino SmartLiveCasino.com and giant British bookmaker Ladbrokes have become two of the first to take advantage of a recent decision by search engine Google to lift its ban on paid search advertising for gambling websites in Scotland, Wales and England.
The freeing up of Google ad-words for gambling advertisements was announced last week and many industry observers now predict that the search engine could benefit greatly from its decision.
'In the case of any tailing off from markets that have matured or suffered from the downturn, it will be useful to have one coming up on the rails like this,” Guy Phillipson, Chief Executive Officer for Interactive Advertising Bureau UK, told British online marketing publication Brand Republic.
'You only have to look at Google Trends for gambling keywords to know how much UK consumers want to gamble online and are using search engines to find gambling sites, even if there weren't paid search gambling ads on Google,” said Duncan Perry, Chief Solutions Officer for digital agency Steak Media Group.
'As soon as the US election is out of the way, I can see this u-turn by Google hitting stateside.'
However, Grant Whiteside, Technical Director for online marketing agency Ambergreen, is far from optimistic and stated that Google’s decision would ‘spark a colossal scramble for positions by all the big brands and the sector will again become the most competitive area online’.
'The next few days will be an interesting time for market share and costs are likely to quickly spiral out of control,” said Whiteside.
“These will be ruthless times. With no brand protection, the Wild West will have nothing on this.'