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Google Begins to Allow Some Gambling Ads

Starting tomorrow, September 27th, Google will allow some gambling ads for those who have opted into Adsense. This is a sea-change for the search giant, despite loosening of some rules previously.

In general:

"Google is allowing advertising of online scratch games run by state, national or Indian reservations and national or state lotteries. It also will allow the advertising of “bricks and mortar” gambling locations and fantasy sports contests."

For racing, let's look at the good. It appears that companies like Churchill Downs, Woodbine and others can create campaigns and have their ads appear if they so wish. As well, since campaigns can be geo-targeted, they might be able to target potential on-track customers (e.g. Churchill After Dark will be able to run a campaign targeted to the greater Louisville area).

However (here comes the bad), there are very few racing websites when we compare it to the number of casino and card playing sites. As well, the casino industry (and the state) has no trouble spending money digitally and otherwise on marketing (casino's can spend upwards of 20% of revenues on marketing, while racing spends 1.7%). Fantasy sports companies are equally tech-savvy. So one might surmise, when we add up the good and the bad, we're behind the curve.


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