Google is softening its stance on internet gambling advertising by allowing social casinos access to AdWords. The new policy will be undergoing a beta stage beginning in March.

Social casinos who opt to go with AdWords will have full access to all of Google’s advertising platforms across search, mobile, YouTube and apps.

These ads will be classified in an advertising category that’s aimed at adult audiences. (So children looking for Dora the Explorer videos on YouTube won’t be tempted to learn Texas Hold ‘Em, or the dark side of real money bingo.)

Publishers who cater to adult audiences, but don’t want social casino ads appearing on their sites, will have the ability to block the new ad category.

Google’s AdWords policy defines social casinos as follows:

“Social casino games” are simulated gambling games where there is no opportunity to win anything of value (such as money or prizes). Examples include, without limitation, poker, slots, bingo, lotteries, sports betting, betting on races, as well as other card games and casino games.

So what’s behind Google’s change of heart regarding social casino gaming?

Over at SearchEngineLand.com, Ginny Marvin floated a very plausible theory; it’s all about the money.

She suggests that Google is simply mining a growing advertising category as part of its never-ending quest for new profit centers.

Given the fact that social casinos have grown into a $4.4 billion industry, it’s not too surprising to hear that Google wants a piece of the action. Marvin goes on to point out that the social casino/mobile connection makes the new ad category something of a no-brainer for the search giant.

Social casino operators and promoters who are interested in leaping into the AdWords arena can apply to be part of the beta test by filling out this form.


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