Google to Offer Gambling Advert Shield Option to Users

Published December 30, 2020 by Lee R

Google to Offer Gambling Advert Shield Option to Users

The UK will welcome a new tool in Google ad settings which helps users block gambling adverts.

In a uniquely proactive development, Google will be providing UK YouTubers with the ability to shield themselves from gambling and betting adverts on the social media video channel.

Demonstrated Need

The new offering from Google is reportedly a direct response to user feedback concerns about the proliferation of alcohol and gambling ads they see online, from third party websites in addition to YouTube.

Current Settings

At this juncture, personalised ads based on user browsing histories can be adjusted by the user in their Google Ad Settings.

How Ads Appear

Google classifies the majority of these ads as “contextual,” meaning the ads are linked to content that the user is viewing on YouTube or websites which are using Google Ads to sell space to advertisers.


In terms of automatic gambling ads, this has morphed in the UK into online casino advertisements appearing next to gambling addiction news articles.

Incoming Shield

To support the user more effectively to shield themselves against the ads and the associated temptations, Google will offer US users this year and UK users in early 2021 in the UK and the rest of the world the ability to avoid these ads in Google Ad Settings.

In a report to the UK Guardian, Google did not guarantee that all gambling and alcohol advertisements would be filtered out, but that the vast majority of related ads on YouTube or other Google Ad-using sites would be removed from the eyes of the opting users.

BGC Spokesperson Speaks

An unnamed spokesman for UK Betting and Gaming Council welcomed the changes:

“We have previously urged Google and other tech platforms to provide the option to stop seeing gambling adverts...and hope to see it launch in the UK very soon.”


This is an extremely proactive measure that Google is offering in the UK, where betting firms stopped showing television advertising during live sports events in 2019 over concerns about preying on population groups that were vulnerable, including children.


With the vast majority of gambling advertising taking place online in the UK, it is encouraging to see Google as a private organisation offer a setting supportive of the prime concern in the UK industry today.

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