Google More Than Doubles Amount of States Where it Permits Sports Betting Advertisements

Posted on: October 16, 2019, 09:53h. 

Last updated on: October 16, 2019, 11:44h.

Google, the largest provider of internet search services, is keeping pace with the rapidly growing sports wagering landscape, increasing the number of states where it allows companies to run advertisements targeted at sports bettors.

Google is allowing ads aimed at sports bettors to appear in more states. (Image: Campaign US)

The company launched a “beta” test in June where it permitted online sports wagering ads to run in New Jersey, quickly expanding to Nevada and West Virginia. In its most recent update to its gambling and games advertising policies, Google signed off on expanding sports betting-related ads to Indiana, Iowa, Montana, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.

Currently, 13 states allow sports betting, according to the American Gaming Association (AGA). Of the states Google just added to its online ads platform, only Montana doesn’t have live sports betting. But the state has approved it and expects to have it up and running before the end of this year.

Advertisers must provide a copy of their state-issued license in their application to be eligible for the beta,” according to Google policy. “Participants of the beta must not target users outside the state of New Jersey or users who are under 21. Participants must only promote online sports betting, and no other forms of online gambling including, but not limited to, online casino games and daily fantasy sports.”

Buyers of sports wagering ads on Google must include some form of what the company calls “gambling assistance” information, such as a phone number or website for problem gamblers seeking help. The ads must also feature warnings about the dangers of “addictive and compulsive gambling.”

Measured Approach

Google currently offers mobile gaming apps involving live money in the UK and the European Union, and appears to be taking a more conservative approach to rolling out sports betting ads in the US.

That could prove wise, as some internet behemoths have recently come under fire for targeting youngsters with gambling ads. A UK-based digital advertising firm known as The Spinner recently drew scrutiny for using Google rival Facebook to directly aim gambling content at teens that are too young to gamble.

As noted yesterday, The Spinner admits to working with online casinos to coax players into betting more. Facebook, the largest social media company, is considering legal action against the advertising agency.

By revenue, Google and Facebook are by far the largest forces in the global online advertising market, controlling 37 percent and 22 percent, respectively, of internet ad dollars.

Working With Regulators

Google has some stipulations that come with its sports betting ads. Companies looking to run those pitches must be licensed by at least one state’s regulators. For example, would-be advertisers need to have licenses approved by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, or comparable agencies in other states.

To date, Google has permitted gambling-related advertisements in about 30 countries, but the October policy update added three to that group – Columbia, Kenya, and Nigeria.

Companies looking to run gambling-related ads in those locations must have proper licensing from national regulators, according to Google.