Google AdWords to allow online gambling ads in UK-Update

The ink was hardly dry on the Google UK announcement that it is to lift its Adword restrictions on Internet gambling marketers when former Labour defence minister Peter Kilfoyle questioned the timing, presumably on current economic grounds and the reports from Gamcare that problem gambling is on the rise in the land gambling sector (see previous InfoPowa reports).

Kilfoyle told the Press Association that the timing of the move was "extraordinary".

"I think it's extraordinary that a major global company should seek, at this time, to promote gambling on its internet site. I'm not being judgmental. I'm talking about the timing of it. It's extraordinary, he said."

But a spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, which oversees matters gambling said: "It's a matter for Google."

The Church of England also weighed in, describing the Google move to lift restrictions as causing "serious" problems for Internet users. A spokesman said: "The Church of England accepts that gambling is permitted as an adult recreation, but there is a real danger of 'normalising' gambling through developments like this.

"Whatever people are searching for on Google, it probably isn't the chance to risk developing a serious problem which could have a hugely negative effect on themselves and their family. As people are facing more financial uncertainty, the fantasy of instant wealth could become particularly attractive and the consequences of losses correspondingly serious."

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