Yahoo! Search Marketing implements new gaming advertising policy


Casino and gaming listings are no longer allowed to invite users to gamble on Yahoo!. The new policy from the search engines disallows advertisements that contain invitations to play, as well as any mention of money or any offers or incentives to take part in gaming.

While it is still acceptable to advertise terms like “24 hour poker”, for example, it is no longer possible to advertise a ‘$1000 jackpot’ or invite users to ‘Win a trip for two to Las Vegas’.

Factual statements which are strictly descriptive of the game in question, like ‘Poker with your friends’ or ‘Texas Hold ‘Em’, can still be used for advertising within the Sponsored Results sections of Yahoo!’s search results pages. However, any mention of money (like ‘Win $1million’), prizes (such as ‘Win a plasma TV’) or any mention of bonuses or promotional offers (terms like ‘$150 free for all new players’) will from now on lead to suspension of the advertisement in question.

Existing advertisements are currently being reviewed for compliance. Advertisers that are found to be non-compliant will be notified by Yahoo! Search Marketing and the advertisements in question will be suspended until the necessary changes have been made.

There can be a fine line between phrases like ‘Test your poker skills’ – which is no longer allowed – and ‘Practice poker for free’, which is allowed as long as it really links to a free poker game.

Yahoo!’s gaming policy change has been made in order to ensure Yahoo! Search Marketing gambling ads comply with the law and guidance issued by the Gambling Commission last year. The UK Gambling Commission is a governmental body that regulates gambling in the public interest.

With both Yahoo! Google having tightened their content policies for online gambling in their paid search results, MSN’s Live Search is the only major engine that still allows online gambling to be advertised in the UK. It is expected that Microsoft will follow Google and Yahoo!’s lead soon.

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