The World Trade Organization, WTO, has given its approval of online Internet gambling. However the opposite is true in the United States, as there is growing pressure from the federal government on media companies that promote online gaming in any form. This pressure has caught many in the gaming businesses off guard, especially with Google and Yahoo not allowing listings of phrases that were promoting any form of online gaming. Chris Costigan, president of Sports911.com, a gaming industry news service, says that online gaming companies are shocked at this censorship by these two Internet powers which came about by government prodding. The removal of phrases such as, "Book sports online gambling, baseball gambling, college football wagering", were removed for not meeting editorial guidelines. This sudden move by Google and Yahoo is like the statement that gambling is going on in Rick's, in Casablanca. As if it were just discovered and what it meant.
Neither company would clarify if they had been legally threaten by the government about these gaming listings. Both companies stated that they would remove such listings from their search engines. However there are other indicators that something is afoot as others like Clear Channel Communications have received subpoenas about online gambling ads. The government position on this is that since online gaming is illegal in most states, this form of advertising is akin to allowing drug sellers or prostitution providers to advertise in those mediums. Another fact is both these companies and the search engine folks announced on the same day that online gambling ads would not be allowed in the future. The same prohibition about the same subject on the same day is not likely to be a happening that just came about by lucky accident. This was obviously a deal that was coordinated.
The other opinion on this is that this announcement came at the end of March Madness which is an important baskeball betting situation. People in the know say wait unitl football season starts. Ads about football gambling are to important a revenue source to these people not to change when the season starts. There will be an immediate reevaluation of this anti betting policy and the heat would be off at that time. This idea comes from Marc Lesnick, a conference organizer for the Casino Affiliate Convention. Is he right or is he just whisling as he walks by the cementary.