Google in the Gambling Business?

By: Russell Potvin, September 25, 2013

Recently there has actually been some speculation about what would or could happen if Google, the search giant which has expanded to any number of other areas, were to enter the online gambling business. In what way would it affect that kind of entry? The answer is - any way it wanted!

Maybe it's not so inconceivable, considering what has happened with another big company in Facebook, which has literally played host to the creation of a large and potentially profitable segment of the industry - that of social gaming.

And before we go any further, although anyone can conceivably start a rumor, there has been no evidence to this point that Google has even pondered such a business move.

It was undoubtedly a touchy area for them, considering that the legal atmosphere in the United States, Google's biggest market, has been so hostile, although that hasn't prevented the search engine from indexing gambling-related sites like they would anyone else.

However, such an idea would be more suitable now, since there are now states that are endeavoring to legalize and regulate online gambling, with Nevada and New Jersey the two leaders of the pack. In that way, it makes the business more "legit" and politically correct for them to get involved with.

Would this idea fly - Google in the online gambling business? They could unquestionably make it work from a financial standpoint. After all, Google controls so much that envelops desirable areas of marketing for online gambling companies. They control the search engine results that casinos, such as Jackpot City, have relied on, and have influenced the industry beyond measure when they have changed an algorithm.

They also own YouTube, which is obviously something that indexes well and provides a lot of page views, and in addition to that, has essentially become the most watched television channel in the world. Very little can create buzz like YouTube.

They can pass text ads either through their search engine or through its GMail service. And of course, they operate Google Chrome, a browser which, like all browsers, opens to a default portal page and utilizes toolbars to help people get to things more quickly. This has given birth to the ChromeBook, a computer which integrates with the browser. They are developing their own social media apparatus through Google Plus, which is not of the same level of popularity of Facebook but has other functions that make it very useful.

And of course, they own the Android platform, the most popular for smartphones and online mobile casinos, and along with it the store (Google Play) through which to make an infinite number of apps available. And you are suddenly in just about everyone's home.

Do you see where we're going here? If they really wanted to OWN this business they could, just by giving themselves a preferential position over others.

And of course, there's the rub. It's the flip side. Invariably this company would be dealing with restraint of trade issues, if they were operating in any jurisdiction where there were laws to cover that kind of thing.

Not that any of this would be too much for them to handle. Money isn't a very big issue with this colossus. If there was a company that could find anti-trust suits, it would be Google. But we've seen Microsoft get hit with that kind of action too, and it's not something you can necessarily buy your way out of.

Then again, there would be enough lobbying money to ensure that plenty of politicians would keep their beaks wet. So we never say never when it comes to anything that would stop them, in the event they decided to take the plunge.