This should help boost revenues for UK gaming sites.

Google Opens UK to Poker & Gambling Ads from EEA Licensed Companies

Mon, Oct 20th, 2008 @ 12:00am

Search engine giant Google has reversed their self-imposed ban on poker and gambling advertising in the U.K., and now permit certain advertisers to target residents of England, Scotland and Wales for the first time since 2004.

Companies licensed and based in any of the 30 countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) that are also registered with the U.K. Gambling Commission can target Google users throughout Great Britain (excluding Northern Ireland).

Recent extension of the EEA means that a large number of operators including Gibraltar-based 888 (owner of Pacific Poker) and PartyGaming (owner of Party Poker) are now able to advertise in the UK.

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.

"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."


Industry experts say that Google could generate more than GBP 100 Million in revenue from the rule change. The business commands a 70 per cent share of the paid search advertising market in the UK.

'Over the last few months we've been reviewing our gambling advertising policy in Great Britain to ensure it is as consistent as possible with local business practices,' said James Cashmore, Industry Leader for Entertainment and Media for Google UK.

'Following the review, we've decided to amend our policy to allow text ads to appear against search queries related to gambling in Great Britain.'

Google, remaining cautious, classifies all gambling adverts as 'non-family safe', which means they will not be shown on any search where the user has applies a filter.