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Yahoo Bans Online Casino Ads; Google's Ban Has Holes

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Both Yahoo and Google decided to drop ads from online casinos by the end of April. But despite this, the ads can still be found lurking on Google.

The move, reported by the AP, the New York Times and other sources, comes as US authorities are apparently pressuring media outlets not to accept ads from casinos said to be illegally accepting bets from those in the United States. However, neither Yahoo or Google explicitly cited this as the reason for their pullback.

MediaPost reported on the shock to those in the online casino industry and provides more on pressure being put on media outlets. There's also speculation that the search companies may bring back the ads, if they see the revenue there for when the US football season gets underway.

Despite the decision, MediaPost found in a recent survey that online casino ads were still on Google in early May.

To blame appears to be Google's system of automatically accepting any ads, then only removing those against its policies when a human review happens a short time later.

Especially noteworthy is the comment at the end of the MediaPost article. Rather than find ways to circumvent the ban, some online casino operators instead are focusing efforts on getting better unpaid listings.

This is exactly the type of consequence I pointed out in the wake of the other recent ban Google and Yahoo agreed to implement, the one on pharmacy ads.

In my Google, Overture Limit Pharmacy Ads -- But Not In Free Listings article, I explained that the ad crackdown did nothing to prevent those seeking such sites from finding them. The only way that would happen is if the editorial results themselves also were filtered, an issue that raises entirely new problems.

And how about those pharmacy ads at Google? My colleague Gary Price from ResourceShelf.com messaged me today about still seeing them on Google for queries such as for xanax and prescription drugs.

"I checked the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy site, and many of these companies are not listed. Actually, I couldn't find any in this database," Gary emailed.


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