Google Restricts UK Gambling Ad Policy

12 June 2007

The U.K. affiliate of Google has announced an immediate change in its Adwords policy that extends a restriction on gambling advertisement to include play-for-free and tutorial sites.

Although Yahoo! joined Google in previously restricting the advertisement of online pay-to-play services, the restriction makes Google the first company in Europe to banish all forms of online gambling from a flagship advertising service.

The restriction, already policy in the United States, is described on Google's Adwords Policy page as being made so as to prevent free affiliates from "driving traffic to online gambling sites." Gambling Web sites, banned from promoting their chief, money-making operations, would often advertise for poker tutorials or opportunities for free play with the hope that visitors to such services would also engage in pay-for-play activities.

A Google spokesperson has stated that while the company "support[s] freedom of expression," it believes that the policy is "simpler for everyone to understand and more in tune with users' wishes."

Adwords, Google's chief revenue product, functions on a "Pay-Per-Click" system, which enables the company to exclude any advertisements it deems objectionable--from solicitations for term paper sales to claims of miracle cures. Ads for paid gambling sites were previously restricted and will remain so under the new policy.

With the change, MSN becomes the only major search provider in the United Kingdom to still offer ads for online gambling Web sites within search results.

Nick Loyal is not an I-gaming writer, but he plays one on TV. So yes, everything that he has written for IGN is actually part of a script. But don't let this minor detail quash your praise for his journalistic prowess. He works hard. Give him a chance.