Monday, October 20, 2008

Google To Allow Gambling Ads After Self-Imposed Four-Year Ban

Google is allowing gambling advertisements in its search results in Britain - for the first time anywhere in the world since a self-imposed moratorium in 2004. Industry experts say the search engine, which welcomed the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh to its London offices yesterday, could generate more than £100m in revenues from rule changes, which come into effect today. The business commands a 70 per cent share of the paid search advertising market in the UK. 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 gambling advertisements when the US Congress cracked down on the industry in 2004. Online gambling companies welcomed the lifting of the ban, which follows the UK Gambling Act's removal of prohibitions on television advertising of casino and bingo gaming, which came into force in September 2007.

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