Google can’t be held responsible for an online casino ad that circumvented its screening process ruled the Regional Administrative Court for Lazio.
A fine issued against Google by the Italian communications watchdog Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni (AGCOM) for posting gambling ads has been overturned. AGCOM issued the €100,000 fine in October last year after finding that Google had breached Italy’s ban on all forms of gambling advertising.
The fine and an accompanying injunction were issued after AGCOM said further investigation was needed to determine whether Google was flouting Italy’s ban on gambling advertising.
The advertising in question promoted Sublime Casino and appeared in Google search results for “online casino”. The ad read: “Join the brand new Italian online casino now. Play over 400 games now – Join now and register in less than 30 seconds! No downloads. Safe and secure.”
Duplicitous gambling ad placement
Google did not dispute the fact that the advert was promoting a gambling service, but it claimed the ad had been placed duplicitously without it knowing. It said Sublime Casino has used a technique that the tech giant called “cloaking” in order to circumvent Google’s automated screening process for ads.
The company told the court: “As soon as this activity was detected, Google Ireland immediately suspended the user‘s account and proceeded to remove the disputed advertisement.”
The Regional Administrative Court for Lazio ruled that Google’s situation meant it was not responsible for “illegal content inserted by third parties”.
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