April 20, 2009 (PAP Newswire) — Online press release distributor PRWeb has reportedly announced that, effective immediately, it will no longer extend its services to any company affiliated with online gambling.

The news is certainly a setback for the iGaming industry given PRWeb’s stature as among the world’s leading online press release distribution solutions for small businesses. (A similar service offered by Business Wire, for example, comes at a much higher fee, well out of the range of most small-sized companies.) Among PRWeb’s advantages is its brand presence, which allowed stories sent via its site to gain widespread traction via Google, Yahoo, and other leading search engines.    

The company had little choice in the decision, it seems. The U.S. state of Washington, a traditionally liberal state that is inexplicably one of the regions most vocally opposed to online gambing in North America, had issued a court-mandated Cease and Desist order requiring PRWeb to exclude iGaming business from its activities. In a media statement made over the weekend, PRWeb representative Cari Lyle states that the company was reluctant to follow the order but ultimately had no choice. “As PRWeb is located in Washington State, we are required to be in compliance with Washington State laws,” RecentPoker.com quoted Lyle.

However, the company is reportedly extending the ban to the United Kingdom, as well, thus calling into question the reasons for prohibiting business partnerships with companies in a jurisdiction where such activities are not deemed to be illegal.

PRWeb now joins Send2Press on the list of prominent press release distributors who refuse service to the online gaming industry. The short-term effects will certainly be inconvenient for the online gambling industry; however, the stage is now set for a competitor to surface who isn’t afraid to offer iGaming companies the full range of business and PR options that a free capitalist society demands.