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Google urged to update gambling blacklist

The Betting Gaming Council (BGC) has urged Google and other search engines to update their gambling blacklists.

More needs to be done

Recently, searches by the UK self-exclusion register GamCare unveiled available black market betting options. Last week, Gambling Insight – a GamCare-registered user revealed that they were exposed to offshore casino ads in a tweet.

Previously, Google had said that offenders were suspended from its AdWords platform. The Independent newspaper had made the company aware of this issue, but it seems as though some casinos are still getting around restrictions.

The newspaper also reported that the top Google search result for “GamStop UK” read:

“Not on GamStop Popular Sites – Get 300 percent bonus”.

In fact, all of the four top promoted links were encouraging those trying to stop gambling to play.

The games displayed were often ones that could fuel addiction, such as slots and roulette.

Where does the blame lie? 

Clearly, these search results show that Google and other search engines need to do more to protect players. However, some UK-based politicians think that others have a duty to fulfil too.

Carolyn Harris, an MP for the Labour Party said: “I don’t necessarily blame Google. In a way, they’re the victims of of the ingenuity of companies who are capable of bypassing any measures that are put in place.

“I have serious reservations about the entire self-exclusion system and the gambling industry’s willingness to tackle the problem.”

GamStop has also made its thoughts clear after these revelations. Chief Executive Fiona Palmer, who said that she was “very concerned” about these findings, also mentioned the below.

“When people search for information about self-excluding from online gambling, they should only see results relating to Gamstop and organisations providing support for problem gambling.

“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.”

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