Google Lifting bann on Gambling adds in the UK

lots0

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According to very very credible sources, starting tomorrow, Google UK will stop lumping gambling and gaming together with drugs, prostitution, and weapons.

Gambling ads will still be treated as a type of adult content, and thus be screened out by SafeSearch, but allowing Google will be allowing Gambling addsl in England, Scotland, and Wales.
 

pokeraddict

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Bookmakers and online casinos will be able to advertise on Google, the world's most popular internet search engine, from today.


The company, which yesterday received royal approval when the Queen visited its British headquarters near Victoria station, was condemned as "irresponsible" by MPs and church leaders for lifting its four-year ban and allowing gambling companies to buy "sponsored links" on its site in Britain.

Google introduced a global ban on gambling adverts on its site in 2004, but decided to end it for British customers after rules on television advertising for bookmakers, casinos and gambling websites were relaxed.

Google insisted that all advertisers using the service would have to be regulated in Britain or Europe and would have to have internet links to organisations helping problem gamblers. But critics condemned the move, saying the adverts could attract people hit by the global economic downturn.

The Church of England led attacks on the decision, which came a day after figures were released showing a 25 per cent increase in people seeking help with gambling problems.

A CofE spokesman said: "Whatever people are searching for on Google, it probably isn't the chance to risk developing a serious problem that could have a hugely negative effect on themselves and their family. As people are facing more financial uncertainty, the fantasy of instant wealth could become particularly attractive and the consequences of losses correspondingly serious."

Figures released this week by the gambling addiction charity GamCare showed a huge increase in the numbers of people seeking help. Nearly 38,000 called its betting hotline last year, compared with just more than 30,000 the year before. Callers had racked up average debts of 17,500.

Last night, MPs of all parties warned Google not to exacerbate the problems of online gambling. Peter Kilfoyle, the former Labour Defence minister, said: "It's the height of stupidity. It seems probably the worst of times for people to be encouraging gambling... after we have been facing a financial crisis built on reckless gambling in the markets."

Don Foster, the Liberal Democrat Culture spokesman, added: "Clearly this is perfectly legal but it is of huge concern that we have further expansion of the advertising of internet gambling when we know it creates problems."

Jeremy Hunt, the shadow Culture minister, added: "At a time when calls to GamCare have increased by a quarter I would hope Google would exercise some corporate social responsibility... At the very least [it] should ensure all advertisers meet UK gambling regulations irrespective of their country of origin."

The Salvation Army said the move was "effectively encouraging vulnerable people into debt" warning that it contributed to a "creeping normalisation" of gambling in society.

A spokesman said: "With widespread use of the internet, use of online lotteries and betting opportunities [are] increasing. And with 16- to 24-year-olds among the most frequent users of the internet, it is not unrealistic to be concerned this group will be particularly affected by this poor decision."

Google insisted that its UK-based advertisers would have to be registered with the British Gambling Commission before advertising, while European operators would also have to be licensed in their home country. All would have to have links to the GamCare website.

He said it would be for companies to decide which search words would trigger adverts for their services but stressed that the advertisements could be screened out by users.

James Cashmore of Google said: "We've decided to amend our policy to allow text ads to appear against search queries related to gambling in Great Britain. We hope this will enhance the search experience for users and help advertisers connect with interested consumers. Gambling ads will automatically be classified as Non-Family Safe which means they will not show on any search where the user has applied the Safe Search filter."
 

lots0

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I didn't know there was a news story...

I heard it from a google rep yesterday.

For people in online gaming this is huge and you'll see google's profits shoot through the roof after this.
 
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