he search engine giant will from Friday allow advertisements from any UK company registered with the Gambling Commission, as well as any company based within the European Economic Area (EEA) provided they are registered with their national regulator.
The move will allow a huge number of non-UK companies, such as Gibraltar-based 888.com and PartyGaming to increase their push into the British market. "Over the last few months we’ve been reviewing our gambling advertising policy in Great Britain to ensure it is as consistent as possible with local business practices," said James Cashmore, Google’s industry leader for entertainment and media.
"Following [a major internal] review we’ve decided to amend our policy to allow text ads to appear against search queries related to gambling in Great Britain."
Google said the adverts will be automatically classified as "non-family safe" so that they will not appear in searches if the user has applied the company’s "safe search" filter. The adverts will only be available to British users, as Google will retain the ban in all other countries.
The move to only allow adverts from companies within the EEA follows a government ban on about 1,000 non-EEA gambling websites advertising in the UK. The ban hit the operations of well-known bookmakers including William Hill Casino, Betfred Casino and Poker and Littlewoodscasino.com.