Google Adwords Now Allowed for Gambling in Five More US States

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:

In addition to New Jersey, West Virginia and Nevada, Google will now begin permitting Adwords advertising of gambling-related companies in five more US states.   The world's largest search engine currently only allows bookmaking outsourcing companies (also known as Pay Per Head or bookie/agent software solutions) to utilize Google Adwords across the board throughout the US.

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The updated policy authorises advertising of sports betting services in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Montana, Iowa and Indiana, all states that have legalized sports betting and/or online casino games.

Of these five states, only three will likely see a significant push towards Google Adwords bidding.  That's because Rhode Island and Montana each rely on a single vendor vendor.  Rhode Island display ads for mobile sports betting will have little impact regardless as individuals must first travel to one of the two casinos that operate the app in order to present a valid photo ID.  This is also true of Nevada and will be the case in Iowa for the next two years.

In New Jersey all the usual suspects appear to be capitalizing on the Adwords platform. On average, 3 to 4 ads display.

A few examples appear below:

Why It Matters

On average, an ad in the first position receives a click-thru rate of 7.94 percent. An average click-through rate is 2 percent.

63 percent of people said they’d click on a Google ad (Search Engine Land, 2019).

Search traffic converts 10x better than social media traffic (on desktop) and organic rankings still perform quite well, especially long-form search queries. 

Paid Search Statistics By Industry

    The average click-through-rate is 3.17%.
    The highest CTR is found in the dating industry, at 6.05%.
    The lowest CTR is found in the technology industry, at 2.09%.
    The average cost-per-click is $2.69.
    The highest CPC is found in the legal industry, at $6.75.
    The lowest CPC is found in the e-commerce industry, at $1.16.
    The average conversion rate is 3.75%.
    The highest conversion rates are found in the dating industry, at 9.64%.
    The lowest conversion rates are found in the advocacy industry, at 1.96.

Searching "Bet the Jets Jaguars game" from either Las Vegas, Nevada or Providence, Rhode Island yields zero Google Adwords at the moment, as seen below.  Because Nevada sports betting apps require in-person/on-site registration, the Google Adwords platform may prove less effective.

In addition to New Jersey, West Virginia is currently the only other state seemingly taking advantage of the Google Adwords platform.  Here the competition is limited to only a handful of vendors, including Draftkings, which currently features display ads. 

A Tough Task

In order to start bidding on keywords in each of these states, operators must first provide Google with a copy of their license in each of the states it wishes to advertise in.  It is not immediately clear whether all states will require affiliates to obtain a license however. 

Furthermore, affiliates attempting to qualify for a license in Pennsylvania tell Gambling911 the process has been especially frustrating.  They cite extensive background checks and excruciatingly long wait times.

Google Adwords will likely prove most lucrative in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois and Tennessee.  None of these states require in-person registration and all five will offer competitive markets.  The later two states are expected to debut mobile sports betting apps in the early part of 2020.

- Chris Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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