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Google to Lift US Online Casino Advertising Ban in 2020

January 2, 2020

It figures to be a good start to the new year for any online casino operators that have been looking forward to launching advertising campaigns through the search giant Google. Google has long banned any form of gambling advertising in the US for online gambling operations. At some point during the first quarter of 2020, Google reports it's ready to implement a new policy.

The first sign Google was considering changing its anti-gambling advertising policy in the US occurred in June of 2019. That change came when the company allowed some sports betting advertising to filter out in states that had already passed the requisite sports betting regulations, which came to fruition following the US Supreme Court's lift on such activities on US soil.

It would appear the search engine behemoth will move forward with a similar model of allowing online advertising for gambling operators in states where online and sports gambling activities have been legalized. The change in policy figures to immediately benefit operators in states like Indiana, Iowa, Montana, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. It's worth noting these states will be joining Nevada, New Jersey and West Virginia, states for which Google has already lifted its ban.

According to Chris Harrison, Google Industry Head of Financial Trading and Egaming (in a August 2019 press release): "For us, regulation is a huge signal and will be the building block of anything we do. We also take into consideration the norms and acceptance of gambling in any given state. We have to recognize customer concerns and face those as well. So it’s far from black or white in terms of opening up and allowing advertisers to use Google’s products and platforms.”

While Google actually announced the possible policy change in October of 2019, it is just now getting around to firming up the advertising guidelines online gambling operators will have to follow. According to Harrison, one of the biggest challenges the company faces is dealing with the inconsistencies of state-by-state legislation. It's incumbent on the company to understand the regulations in each jurisdiction and match it's advertising guidelines appropriately. They also need to focus on making sure operators do not resort to predatory advertising practices that could adversely affect minors and problem gamblers.

While there's still a little work to be done, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. By the end of March, licensed online gambling operators in the US should be ready to launch online advertising campaigns.

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