After posting better-than-expected Q3 results, Google (NSDQ: GOOG) could be in line for a revenue jackpot after allowing gambling adverts in the UK from today in its search results for the first time since a self-imposed ban in 2004. Google’s industry leader for entertainment and media James Cashmore told FT.com he hoped that change would “enhance the search experience for users and help advertisers connect with interested consumers” Of course, It will also make a shed-load of money — as much as £100 million extra in ad revenue by the FT’s estimate.
Google says it is reviewing its gambling advertising policy “to ensure it is as consistent as possible with local business practices” and has reversed the policy it developed in 2004 after the US Congress came down hard on gambling. The UK’s government is rather less tough on gambling, even to the extent of pushing for a string of regional casinos, and the UK’s Gambling Act removed the prohibition of gambling ads on TV in September 2007. According to Nielsen gambling companies make up the third largest group of advertisers in terms of online display ads, behind mobile phones and motors.