Google Expands Approved Gambling Advertising

Technology giant Google has expanded the jurisdictions in which it allows gambling advertising, to include most of the US states with regulated sports betting.

In the latest update to its gambling and games policy, Google said it will now allow for sports-betting adverts in Indiana, Iowa, Montana, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

Companies targeting Nevada, New Jersey and West Virginia are already allowed to use Google’s platforms to offer sports-betting adverts, as part of a limited beta launched in June 2019 which originally only included New Jersey.

The October policy update also sees online gambling ads permitted in Kenya, Nigeria and Colombia, so long as they are for operators that are licensed by the respective national gambling regulators.

Advertisers seeking to promote gambling adverts on Google’s platforms must also adhere to country-specific requirements, it said.

For instance, gambling-related content in adverts targeting the French market must only link to ARJEL-licensed operators and “display a message on their landing page warning against excessive or pathological gaming”.

Over the past two years, Google has added numerous jurisdictions to its list of those permitted to advertise gambling-related content, including Bulgaria, Croatia, Lithuania and Slovakia.

Permissions for some countries were recently removed, however, including Peru.

One of the most significant updates came in April 2019, which allowed for daily fantasy sports (DFS) promotions in India, as long as they did not include advertising for any other form of online gambling.

Additionally, DFS adverts may not appear in certain Indian regions including Telangana, Orissa, Assam, Sikkim or Nagaland, which is typical for Google’s policies in federal countries.

Google said that it supports “responsible gambling advertising” as long as it abides by “local gambling laws and industry standards”.

Advertisers must also receive the proper Google Ads certification prior to being able to promote through Google Ads, Google Display Network, YouTube and AdMob.

Google only grants advertising certifications to licensed gambling operators and state-run gambling entities.

“Gambling ads must target approved countries, have a landing page that displays information about responsible gambling, and never target minors. Check local regulations for the areas you want to target,” reads Google’s overarching gambling advertising policy.

Google only began allowing real-money gambling apps on its app marketplace, the Play Store, in 2017 for a limited number of jurisdictions.

Gambling ads within Play Store-distributed apps must abide by similar requirements; however, they cannot be displayed in simulated gambling apps and must all display responsible gambling messages on their landing page.

The tech giant came under fire recently when it was revealed that hundreds of fake apps were available on the Play Store in countries such as China where they are banned.

The apps made it onto the marketplace by masking their true nature during their uploading review process.

In focus: Advertising