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Google and YouTube enable opt-out for gambling ads

Google rolls out new ad setting option allowing limitation of gambling and alcohol ads on YouTube.


Advertising is one of the largest focus points, especially when it comes to online gambling and online casinos.

Gaming authorities and law officials are making serious efforts in restricting gambling and alcohol-related ads.

For Google and YouTube users, things will become easier with a personal choice given to opt-out of any ads relating to gambling or alcohol.

Safer virtual environment

YouTube is one of the most popular video portals where users vary in age. Of course, the portal gets revenue from ads placed throughout videos and on the site.

YouTube launched in 2005 and a year later was purchased by Google. Since then, YouTube has grown into one of the most popular and instantly recognizable platforms for video sharing globally. It's an entertainment hub with a wide range of watching options ranging from music videos to reviews, vlogs and more.

For online casino operators and software developers, it's also a platform for sharing the latest game and content releases.

As with other online platforms, YouTube relies on money made from online advertising to keep running. One of the biggest issues in recent news has been regarding alcohol and gambling advertisements, especially on platforms such as YouTube which is available to all, including minors.

Google dedicates a lot of effort to ensuring responsible advertisement but anything can happen. Instead of completely removing gambling and alcohol ads, the site now provides users with the option to customise their ad exposure.

Limit your ad exposure

The new option is available on the YouTube Ad Settings page allowing users to block ads from certain categories. It is already in effect for the US after Google received feedback from users wanting the ability to block ads.

According to Google VP, Debbie Weinstein, a lot of the feedback came from users clicking on the Google feature controls such as 'Stop seeing this ad'. She also warned that users will have to opt-out of these ads proactively. And while it will not result in a complete blackout but it will ensure responsible gambling and alcohol promos are seen.

Weinstein made it clear that any visits to other sites or articles might still lead to exposure of such ads.

Google is giving YouTube users full control in limiting ads but also the option to reverse their choice. The blocking policy was created by Google in collaboration with an international responsible drinking group. During the partnership, they chose to add gambling as one of the additional options.

The YouTube Ad Settings will only become available to those in other regions from early 2021. While it isn't exactly a 'new' feature it is the first time you can limit ads from certain categories.

How it works

To access the ad limitations, you can click on your YouTube profile icon when logged into your Google account. From here you can choose the 'Manage your Google Account' option and click on Privacy and Personalisation/Data & Personalisation.

It will give you an Ad Personalisation option where you can go straight to the Ad Settings page. It is currently in beta so you will only have the two options to limit. Simply click on fewer Gambling or Alcohol ads.

Currently, it is unclear what is meant by 'fewer' so users can put it to the test and time will reveal all.

Google's latest moves

Google deserves some credit with this move especially after being in the hot seat recently due to unwanted ads.

In one of the more recent events, Google received a €100k penalty from Italy after residents were exposed to ads from a French online casino affiliate site. According to Italian authorities, these ads were in violation of the gambling ad prohibition in Italy's recently implemented 'dignity decree'.

Unfortunately, the new options will not be available to Google users in countries where gambling and alcohol ads have been blocked.

Google has been working on anti-gambling policies and measures since 2017 and the new opt-out ad limitation is one more step towards success.

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