An update on the Google Ads New Jersey client last week could prove to be a gamechanger for the state’s mobile sports betting market, notes OnlinePokerReport.
New Jersey’s licensed operators are now able to make use of the Google Ads service, which will allow links to their sites to display more prominently for internet users typing in related searches.
The new version opens the market up to the most powerful advertising platform on the internet and should prove effective in helping customers differentiate between regulated-market operators and unlicensed sites targeting New Jersey from abroad.
Google has traditionally been very cautious about gambling advertising. It allows it in certain jurisdictions but only when it abides by local laws, regulations, and industry standards. Advertisers need to procure special Google Ads certification, which can be granted if they demonstrate they only target approved countries, they do not target minors, and have a landing page that displays information about responsible gambling.
Until last week, Google Ads had avoided the American regulated online gaming and sports betting markets, which are a minefield of patchwork laws and legislation. But the liberalization of sports betting presents a huge revenue opportunity for the company.
Chris Harrison, head of financial trading and egaming at Google, said in an interview with Gambling.com in April the company would still approach gambling advertising in the US with “a huge amount of trepidation, a huge amount of precaution.”
If you are regulated in New Jersey, for example, a New Jersey license allows you to advertise across the US,” Harrison said. “But you can only place a bet within New Jersey. From the Google point of view, we have to recognize local state regulation, while also considering the cultural norms of any given state.
“Do we want to allow advertising in Utah for someone that could only then place a bet in New Jersey for example? So, for us, when we join the industry, we will start slow, test and learn and examine impact.”
New Jersey: Phase One
But he hinted Google Ads would be coming to the market in the not-too-distant future, and it seems New Jersey will become the testing ground for eventual wider engagement with the US.
And while the new Google Ads platform in New Jersey is limited to sports betting operators only, it seems likely the search giant will expand that to include online casino, poker, and lottery advertisers at a later date.
Harrison says that in the UK Google now sees over 70 percent of gambling-related searches coming through mobile devices, and early revenues figures from the New Jersey market — where mobile betting is dominating — suggest the US will be the same.
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