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Google bans adverts from betting tips sites in the uk

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I have to say I'm left completely perplexed by my latest encounter with Google Adwords policy. I have a client that wishes to use Adwords for a horse race betting tips service in the UK. The service does not handle any bets and simply offers horse racing tips as a private subscription service. As the site is not directly offering online gambling I thought this would be ok and created some ads, but they were held back. So on enquiring about the reason for this I was directed to this policy, and in particular the entry about tips:

 

[quote]

Google allows the following online gambling as long as the advertiser is registered with the Gambling Commission and provides a valid operating license number.

  • Gambling-related promotional products such as gambling-related vouchers, bonus codes, etc.
  • Gambling-related tutoring and educational materials such as books and e-books
  • Gambling-related information such as tips, odds, and handicapping
  • Gambling-related lotteries

Alternatively, advertisers based in the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Alderney, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, Malta, Belgium, or Antigua and Barbuda who wish to target online gambling ads to Great Britain must be licensed to advertise online gambling in their respective country.

Advertisers must also be certified with Google. Please see the "How to apply for online gambling" section above for details.[/quote]

 

So on behalf of my client i contacted the Gambling Commission in the UK to enquire about a licence. I was told that tips services and general gambling information sites were outside of the remit of the Gambling Commission and that licences were not required and so would not be issued.

 

So I went back to Google and explained that my client could not obtain a license as none were required. Google replied that they were sorry but they could not permit the adverts without a licence! So in effect as licences for tips services do not exist in the UK (and Google knows this as the Gambling Commission informed me they had already take issue with this with Google in the past) Google are effectively making their own policy stance here and banning tips services, but doing so under the false claim that a licence must be obtained (knowing such licenses don't exist). While of course Google are entitled to restrict advertising to whoever they wish, I personally feel there is a strong case here for misleading and false statements by Google.

 

Has anyone had any similar issues relating to this or find this misleading information unnaceptable?

 

2 Expert replyverified_user
1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by Theresa_Zook (Top Contributor Alumni)
September 2015

Re: Google bans adverts from betting tips sites in the uk - gambling policy

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Hello again redactuk;

I went through your client's site and through the gambling section of AdWords policy in the Great Britain.


My understanding is that gambling information sites can advertise only if registered with the gambling commission.


However, since you said that the gambling commission does not issue such a licence, - the conclusion, is that gambling information can be advertised only by web sites that also advertise gambling under licence. (i.e registered, allowed to promote gambling, and as related service, also provide information and tips.)

 

Moreover, even if policy were to be changed, without the requirement for a licence, for unprofessional eyes, it does look that this site promotes specific horse betting (through tips subscription), instead of statistics, background information. (Odds, and handicapping are based on statistics NOT on recommendations.) See the following quotes from the site service page, as an example:


  • There is no hard and fast rule to the type of selections but they are mainly win or each way singles depending on the price of the horse.
  • I am not in favour of a staggered staking plan. All bets are calculated to a 2 pt level stake per bet
  • I want to see the majority of bookmakers’ prices before I recommend a bet to make sure we are getting the correct price.

Hence, my view, is it that either way, this site is to be considered a gambling site, that does not comply with AdWords policy.

 

I am sorry that the conclusion is not the one you have expected.Smiley Sad

-Moshe


Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’

View solution in original post

Re: Google bans adverts from betting tips sites in the uk

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hello redactuk and welcome to AdWords community;


You are asking a tough question that touches on the definition of "gambling vs. information on wining", or similar cases like: "pharmacy vs. information on medications", or "smoking vs quit smoking".


Could you share with us your site URL?

 

-Moshe

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’

Re: Google bans adverts from betting tips sites in the uk

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Moshe

 

Site url is http://www.onehorseracingtips.com/

 

My client has been involved in the horse racing industry for many years with a lot of success and decided it was time to provide a tips subscription service. Response has been very positive so far, and he would very much like to confirm to any advertising rules required. In fact he uncerstands Google's need to restrict audience to gambling related websites, and would be 100% happy to obtain a licence from the UK Gambling Commission as required by Google IF that commission was actually responsible for issuing linceses to gambling information sites, which it is not.

 

My problem here is that Google are asking for something in their terms that can never be realised, and therefore indirectly banning all similar websites. If they wish to refuse all gambling related sites then fine - state that clearly, but they should not not hide behind the false statement that a licence is require when no such licences exist.

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by Theresa_Zook (Top Contributor Alumni)
September 2015

Re: Google bans adverts from betting tips sites in the uk - gambling policy

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Hello again redactuk;

I went through your client's site and through the gambling section of AdWords policy in the Great Britain.


My understanding is that gambling information sites can advertise only if registered with the gambling commission.


However, since you said that the gambling commission does not issue such a licence, - the conclusion, is that gambling information can be advertised only by web sites that also advertise gambling under licence. (i.e registered, allowed to promote gambling, and as related service, also provide information and tips.)

 

Moreover, even if policy were to be changed, without the requirement for a licence, for unprofessional eyes, it does look that this site promotes specific horse betting (through tips subscription), instead of statistics, background information. (Odds, and handicapping are based on statistics NOT on recommendations.) See the following quotes from the site service page, as an example:


  • There is no hard and fast rule to the type of selections but they are mainly win or each way singles depending on the price of the horse.
  • I am not in favour of a staggered staking plan. All bets are calculated to a 2 pt level stake per bet
  • I want to see the majority of bookmakers’ prices before I recommend a bet to make sure we are getting the correct price.

Hence, my view, is it that either way, this site is to be considered a gambling site, that does not comply with AdWords policy.

 

I am sorry that the conclusion is not the one you have expected.Smiley Sad

-Moshe


Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’

Re: Google bans adverts from betting tips sites in the uk - gambling policy

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Moshe, thank you for your investigations:

 

"is it that either way, this site is to be considered a gambling site, that does not comply with AdWords policy."

 

To be clear my issue is NOT whether the site relates to gambling, my issue is that Adwords policy is misleading and incorrect when it states that tips sites need a licence, when that licence does NOT exist. As you say:

 

"However, since you said that the gambling commission does not issue such a licence, - the conclusion, is that gambling information can be advertised only by web sites that also advertise gambling under licence. (i.e registered, allowed to promote gambling, and as related service, also provide information and tips.)"

 

Yes that appears to be the case, but that is not what their policy states.

 

Anyway I'm now formulating a letter of complaint the the trading standards and advertising standards bodies in the UK, as I feel that their policy is misleading and false. I have no issue with restrictions, but those restrictions should be spelled out clearly so that advertisers know in advance exactly what is or is not permitted.

 

Anyway, thanks for you help.

 


Re: Google bans adverts from betting tips sites in the uk - gambling policy

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

Hi redactuk;

Since I am just a "top contributor" on this community and NOT a Google employee, I can only express my views and my understandings, based on my experience and my knowledge of AdWords policy. Thus, I underlined that (it was my view) in my answer. (This should not have been omitted from your quote, as it may misguide others, who find this thread, when doing a search on a similar case in the future... )

 

Whether the policy is misleading or not, is a legal matter, which is beyond the scope of this community.

 

Again, I am sorry that we were not able to help you in this case. Hopefully, we will, in other AdWords questions you might have in the future.

 

-Moshe

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’

Re: Google bans adverts from betting tips sites in the uk - gambling p

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi There,

I am having the same problem and cannot obtained a license from the gambling commission. What is next? Did you have any luck after complaining?

Thank you

Re: Google bans adverts from betting tips sites in the uk

Community Manager
# 8
Community Manager
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