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MPs Back Google Gambling Ad Ban

13/2/2009
MPs have backed a warning from the Church of England that Google’s decision to allow gambling advertising was irresponsible and now the decision is being challenged by Parliament.

The motion was bought forward by Khlaid Mahmood, a labor MP for Birmingham Perry Barr and said, “The recent decision of Google to reintroduce online gambling advertisements during a period of economic downturn; the house supports the Church of England’s position that the actions of Google risk normalizing gambling in society”.

The MPs backed a warning by the Church of England warning that the search engine's actions were irresponsible.

A spokesman for the Church of England said, "As people are facing more financial uncertainty, the fantasy of instant wealth could become particularly attractive and the consequences of losses correspondingly serious".

Ladbrokes were the first company to advertise on Google in October. It has also been estimated that Google can generate the gambling companies that advertise with them a substantial amount of money as it costs between £100 million to £300 for a sponsored listing on the site.

James Cashmore from Google UK, said, "Following a thorough policy review last year, we believe that allowing search ads for gambling in Great Britain is consistent with local business practices and advertisers must also display links to a gambling charity on their websites.”

However at the time Google claimed that their decision to allow gambling advertising would make local search results more relevant. But the company has also recent acknowledged that hits are slowing the reversal of what they expected.

Danielle Almond
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