The giants of the internet have found that a lot of their users are not really big fans of the gambling and alcohol industries. As a result of copious user feedback, the internet giants are moving forward with a plan that would allow end-users to opt out of gambling and alcohol ads all together.

Under the terms of the new policy, starting this year in the US and next year in the UK, anyone using YouTube or Google can choose to limit the scope of the ads presented to them to exclude these personal vices from their ad results. The catch is that the user must input this preference into their ad settings themselves. So the option won’t really accomplish anything too concrete but it’s not completely useless.

Allowing users the option to opt out of gambling ads is a big win for gambling industry trade groups like the UK Betting and Gaming Council. In a statement to the UK Guardian, a spokesperson for the organization said, “We have previously urged Google and other tech platforms to provide the option to stop seeing gambling adverts. We welcome this step in the right direction and hope to see it launch in the UK very soon.”

Similarly Henry Ashworth, the chief executive of the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (the liquor industry equivalent of the Betting and Gaming Council), said, “Our members are determined to give people greater control over whether they see alcohol-related marketing online. Respecting these personal preferences and recognising differences in culture requires sensitivity and action, that’s why we hope this partnership is the start of a bigger movement.”

But the likelihood of a problem gambler actually using the feature, however, is pretty remote.


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