|Compulsive gamblers seeking help from Gamblers anonymous online are being targeted by ‘aggressive’ casino advertising.|
Many men and women who type ‘gamblers anonymous’ into leading search engines see casino ads flash up.
Gamblersanonnymous.uk has responded with an ‘important disclaimer’ which says: ‘You may have arrived at this website after using a search engine…
Gamblers Anonymous has no connection in any way with any other agency or gambling related facility. We are not associated with ANY source of information and do not approve of advertising that gives the appearance of being linked to our site.’
A search for Gamblers Anonymous on the well-known Google search engine produced many results for the help group, but also produced a boxed ad from www.gamblehouse.com that ran ‘Online Casino Guide, casinos with the highest payout, FREE CASINO CASH’. This advert did not come up alongside search results in other categories.
Lycos did not have any casino ads on its gamblers anonymous search result pages. But the search engine’s homepage ran a feature ‘Play the Casino’, which had a link to Be the Dealer casino, and the Lucky Nugget casino.
Casinos come up among the top search results for Gamblers Anonymous sites. Alta Vista’s engine brought up Superbet.com, an online casino and sportsbook in its top results.
MSN, which features on the hotmail home page, brought up ‘FREDS free casino arcade and online sweepstakes. Play free or play for real money at one of the reviewed virtual casinos’. FREDS came up among the first 12 gambling help groups.
A search for gamblers anonymous at Yahoo only yielded an ad for Barnes and Noble bookstore.
Ask.co.uk only featured ads for Motorola mobile phones and the Nationwide Building Society when I visited the site.
These online casinos represent a steady source of cash for many in a slow market. But there have been calls for regulation of Internet casinos. They are currently banned in the United States.