“We have made a decision not to sell any products related to betting or gambling, including, but not limited to, any system or service designed to help people win money by betting on sports or gambling in casinos,” a Google spokesperson told AdAge. “This change will be rolling out over the next several months globally.”
The ban includes any gambling-related content, whether it’s an app, website or even a YouTube video.
It’s a move that’s likely to please gambling opponents and anti-addiction advocates, but it’s a big blow to the many small businesses and entrepreneurs who make a living from sports betting systems and similar products.
“I think it’s a really sad day for the industry,” said Joe Duffy, CEO of Picksandparlays.net, a website that sells sports betting systems. “I think a lot of people are going to be put out of business.”
Duffy said he’s not sure how his business will be affected, but he expects it will be “dramatically.”
“I think it will have a huge impact,” he said. “It will put a lot of people out of business, no doubt about it.”
The ban is just the latest in a string of moves by tech giants to crack down on gambling. In January, Facebook banned all gambling ads, and in March, Apple pulled all gambling apps from its App Store in China.
The Google ban is likely to have a ripple effect beyond the sports betting industry. Any business that sells products or services related to gambling will be affected, including casinos, poker rooms and online sports books.
“It will have a huge impact on the industry, there’s no doubt about it,” said Peter Schorsch, a Florida-based political consultant who specializes in the gambling industry. “It will put a lot of people out of business.”
Schorsch said he expects the ban will lead to a “massive consolidation” in the gambling industry, with the big players getting bigger and the small players getting pushed out.
“The big players are going to get bigger and the small players are going to get slaughtered,” he said.
The ban is also likely to have an impact on the legal sports betting market in the United States.
In May, the Supreme Court struck down a federal law that had effectively banned bola online in most states. Since then, several states, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Mississippi, have passed laws legalizing sports betting.
The Google ban could hamper the growth of the legal sports betting market, said Chris Grove, managing director of Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, a research and consulting firm that specializes in the gambling industry.
“I think it will have a chilling effect on the market,” Grove said. “It’s going to make it harder for states to roll out legal sports betting.”