Instead of Gamstop Google Offers Online Casinos

February 18, 2020 Scott Bowen

Gambling users seeking help from Google to stop their addiction are being flooded by online casino ads. The algorithm of the search company continues to offer advertisements advertising thousands of pounds of incentives promised by betting websites, with many also bragging that they can defeat algorithms designed to protect gambling addicts.

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Google Browser © PhotoMIX-Company/Pixabay

Internet searches for Gamstop, a UK program that allows individuals to prohibit online gambling, direct users to directories of offshore-based casinos that are not part of the service of self-exclusion. The ads theoretically tempt naive people into making more bets when they seek to stop playing gambling. All of the leading four links Google paid for by advertisers referred to directories of casinos that enable clients to work all over the self-exclusion program.

Clicking across leads to lists of thousands of deals offering hundreds of free spins to new clients on online slot machines, roulette, and other highly addictive sports at virtual casinos located in Cyprus and Curacao’s Caribbean Island. The link to the official site of Gamstop has been assigned to the free search results of Google beginning from location 5 on the list. Similar findings were thrown up by searches for several other related terms.

Harris Believes Those Ads are Unethical

Carolyn Harris, a Labor MP, and leader of a gambling-related damage cross-party group stated the ads were unethical. Harris also added that she is not blaming Google as she is aware that there are companies that are capable to deal with any rules, however, she seems to have some reservations regarding the entire self-exclusion system and the gambling industry’s willingness to solve the problem.

The all-party legislative committee is expected to convene again next week and conduct an investigation into the issue of internet ads that hinder efforts to address gambling problems. Gamstop chief executive Fiona Palmer stated that she was really worried about the effect that the sites may have on self-excluded individuals. Palmer shared that people who are searching for a way to self-exclude themselves from gambling should only find Gamstop and similar organizations that can provide them the necessary support.

“Consequently, we are working with Google and other search engines to ensure that when people search for information about self-excluding from online gambling our website is prominently displayed and these websites are not included within the search results,” noted Palmer.

Third-party firms tend to put Google ads instead of online casinos themselves. Gambling companies pay referral fees to intermediaries who will be able to find new clients who can become profitable regular players.

Google Supports Responsible Gambling

On the other hand, Google’s spokesperson stated that they support responsible gambling advertising and it’s important to them that people see useful and relevant ads in this area. Google has strict policies related to gambling ads and even already suspended accounts that don’t follow their rules. The company says it is using a combination of people and computers to test ads and follow the rules. Nevertheless, after Google made a statement, there was still at least one gambling advert that could be found in the Gamstop search results.

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