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Google Gives YouTube Users Gambling Advertising Opt-Out

by Glenn Baird - December 10, 2020

It was announced today by Google that their Google Ad spaces, most commonly seen by YouTube users, will have block option for all gambling and alcohol related advertising once new settings are rolled out next year.

Google has stated that they are responding to customer feedback signalling growing concerns over the prevalence of gambling and alcohol related advertising.

As things stand you can alter the personalised adverts that you see as a result of your browsing history, but that does not necessarily ensure a 100% ban of all gambling related content.

This is something that Google is now saying will be a guarantee if you choose to block that content, but only on official Google Advertising spaces.

It is not just gambling advertising that users will be able to block. Alcohol related advertising can will be dealt with in the same manner. Henry Ashworth, the chief executive of the industry-led International Alliance for Responsible Drinking, said: “Our members are determined to give people greater control over whether they see alcohol-related marketing online. Respecting these personal preferences and recognising differences in culture requires sensitivity and action, that’s why we hope this partnership is the start of a bigger movement.”

Google has stated that certain countries where gambling and alcohol related gambling are already banned will see no difference to the content that they receive.

A spokesperson for the UK’s gambling lobby group, the Betting and Gaming Council, said: “We have previously urged Google and other tech platforms to provide the option to stop seeing gambling adverts. We welcome this step in the right direction and hope to see it launch in the UK very soon.”

This announcement follows closely on the heels of news that the UK Gambling Act will be up for review next year, following concerns over the growing prevalence of problem gambling.

One of the key reasons for the change to UK legislation is that is was written before the sweeping rise of online gambling and as such has been considered dated by many critics of UK gambling law.

What we are seeing with the latest Google announcement is that change does not have to come as a result of the legal boundaries set out by individual jurisdictions. It also shows that I change is going to be effective that the big tech firms have to get on board too.

Google may cover the greatest reaches of the internet but restrictions on social media will need to follow if change is going to be substantial enough to protect problem gamblers from the influence of advertising.


Whilst it might not be possible to avoid all form of gambling related advertising it is possible to deny yourself access the product that they are selling. For anyone looking to make that first step who wants to gain back some control over their gambling addiction BetBlocker is an app that can be installed on mobile devices, PCs and laptops that denies you access to thousands of gambling sites.

BetBlocker is a registered charity in the UK and, as such it is completely free to install on as many devices as you want.

To learn more you can visit the BetBlocker website.

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