Google Hits Emerging Bitcoin Casinos With Ad Bans

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Google – the world’s number one search engine – is banning cryptocurrency ads from its search results. While changes to the advertising policies of Google are no new thing, the latest restriction strikes a blow at the heart of the emerging cryptocurrency gambling industry as Google is imposing a ban on all cryptocurrency-related products. This means that even Initial Coin Offerings, which many new operators have used to fund the launch of Bitcoin gambling sites, will be banned from advertising with the search engine.

Unregulated Financial Products Beware

As the Guardian reports, Google will be rolling out a new ad ban from June in an effort to clamp down on the spread of financial products that aren’t regulated. The search engine is reportedly hoping to “tackle emerging threats” with a wide crackdown on all financial products deemed “speculative” or unregulated.

According to Scott Spencer, sustainable ads director for Google, the company has updated a number of policies to help curb unregulated financial services and products like Forex trading, CFDs (Contracts for Difference), and Binary Options, but also Bitcoin and cryptocurrency products and ICOs. As explained by the company, the ban will also include cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges as well as gambling ads related to services like skins betting.

Google’s ban mirrors the ban of Facebook – Google’s advertising rival. At the start of the year, Facebook also decided to ban advertisements of cryptocurrency products and ICOs after an inside analysis showed that many of these ads were abused for scamming investors.  It seems that Google had a similar concern prior to updating the policy as Spenser revealed to the news portal. According to him, online scams have evolved alongside the search engine’s protection methods, which is why the company is giving “top priority” to improving the advertising experience with new policy updates.

A Blow To Many Startups

One overlooked side of Google’s new advertising policy is the blow to blockchain startup companies who use ICOs to finance their launch and release products. ICOs have helped raise millions for many up-and-coming companies who could easily source funds from a global pool of investors thanks to blockchain-technology.

In some cases, ICOs proved to be a disastrous affair. Such is the case with the recently defunct Bitconnect which shut doors in January and left many to suffer serious financial losses. Namely, the company was funded by an ICO in which its token was (at times) sold for $290, only to fall down to just above zero after its Ponzi-scheme came to a stop.

However, on the other side of the coin (no pun intended) you also have the legit companies who rise with the help ICOs and expectantly reward their investors afterwards. Such is the case with Betking, which was originally funded by a crowd-funding campaign that successfully ended with all investors receiving money back and was re-launched with another successful ICO.  Even in the land-based casino industry, ICOs are being used to fund cryptocurrency casinos by legit companies which have no resemblance to startups like Bitconnect.

The new advertising ban will certainly create more difficulties for emerging operators as both Facebook and Google are clamping down on Initial Coin Offerings, with Twitter joining them soon. But the move is certainly not an off-course decision for Google, which in 2017 cleared more than 3.2 billion ads to keep its service clean and free of “bad ad experiences”. After all, Alphabet – its parent company – generates around 85% of its revenue from the advertising business.

March 21, 2018: • No Comments

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