Tech Giant Google comes under fire for manipulating search term Gamstop to lure in problem Gamblers

The Independent, a UK Based media outlet has reported findings of irresponsible and unlawful advertising of Gambling online. The media giant carried out a Google search on Gamstop, the UK self-exclusion program which revealed advertisements for online casinos.

The Google algorithm brings up ads promoting large bonuses offered by betting websites. This means, gambling addicts are in fact more vulnerable to being exposed to gambling related advertising through looking up help resources online.

The independent noted four casinos using the Gamstop search term to lure in vulnerable individuals, leading them to casinos based offshore in Curacao and Cyprus.

Despite the efforts of the Independent presenting their findings to tech Giant Google, some of these ads still appear. As Gamstop does not apply to offshore jurisdictions, the risk remains for players to continue to pursue their gambling habits further.

In early 2019, the BBC Media exposed flaws in Gamstop, demonstrating just how simple it is for self-excluded individuals to get back into UK licensed casinos.Head of Gamstop Fiona Palmer, is said to be addressing the latest issue with Google.

Rightlander Comment: This issue first came to light in October 2019 and Rightlander’s scanning tools have since been proactive in identifying the offending sites, most of which originate from outside of the UK. The data has helped a lot of operators to take steps to disassociate themselves with the offending sites, and the majority of casinos that now have a presence on these sites do not have a UK licence and are outside of the UKGC’s jurisdiction. Nonetheless, they still present a significant issue.


Posted in United Kingdom.