Google AdWords to allow online gambling ads in UK

After something of a prohibitive drought for gambling marketers since the summer of '07, the UK branch of the giant search engine Google is about to reintroduce the facility for Adwords. But advertising will be restricted to those companies that are licensed by the UK Gambling Commission and can provide a valid operating license number.

Starting this week, licensed gaming operators will be able to buy paid search ads, according to a policy statement from the search engine giant which advises:

"Google AdWords allows online gambling advertisements to target Great Britain (England, Scotland, or Wales) as long as the advertiser is registered with the Gambling Commission and provides a valid operating license number.

"Advertisers based outside the UK and within the European Economic Area who wish to target online gambling ads to England, Scotland, or Wales must be licensed to advertise online gambling in their respective country."

It has been stressed that ads can only be targeted on England, Scotland and Wales. Failure to comply with this rule may result in account terminations.

The re-opening of Adwords for gambling companies means that subterfuges such as subtly misspelled search terms can at last be abandoned, commented one marketer on hearing the news.

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