Fast reaction from Smartlive Casino and Ladbrokes

The recent free-ing up of Google Adwords for gambling advertisements has resulted in a fast reaction from the first two companies to take up the offer, Smartlive Casino and the famous British betting group Ladbrokes.

Ladbrokes' digital agency, TBG London, said the incremental revenue will be of value to Google in the current climate. Guy Phillipson, chief executive of IAB, said: "In the case of any tailing off from markets that have matured or suffered from the downturn, it will be useful to have one coming up on the rails like this."

Duncan Parry, chief solutions officer at digital agency Steak Media Group, added: "You only have to look at Google Trends for gambling keywords to know how much UK consumers want to gamble online and are using search engines to find gambling sites - even if there weren't paid search gambling ads on Google."

Parry went on to suggest there might be a rise in the popularity of online gambling as consumers stay in to avoid expensive nights out, and with finance companies spending less as a result of the economic downturn, Google will be relying on this to keep their revenues high.

Grant Whiteside, technical director of online marketing agency Ambergreen, warned Media Week Online readers that the Google news would "spark a colossal scramble for positions by all the big brands and the sector will again become the most competitive area online.

"The next few days will be an interesting time for market share and costs are likely to quickly spiral out of control," Whiteside opined. "These will be ruthless times. With no brand protection, the Wild West will have nothing on this."

Ian Bryce claimed that Smart Live Casino pipped Ladbrokes to the post on being first into the new dispensation, revealing that participation generated "...plenty of valuable clicks, giving an early indicator of the customer demand in this area. Game on!"

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