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Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft settle with U.S. for promoting illegal gambling in the past

The United States government is cracking down on illegal online gambling sites. The sites that support online betting are harming legal and law abiding gambling operations according to government officials.

Catherine L. Hanaway, United States Attorney of the Eastern District of Missouri, announced today that Yahoo!, Microsoft Corporation and Google, Inc. have settled with the United States government for a total of $31.5 million USD. These settlements were to resolve claims that the three Internet giants received payments from online gambling business for advertising of online gambling from 1997 to 2007.

Microsoft settled for the largest portion of the $31.5 million dollars with its contribution being over $21 million USD. The Microsoft settlement will be split with $4.5 million USD going to the United States and $7.5 million USD going to the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC). The settlement also has Microsoft providing $9 million USD for an online public service advertising campaign to help inform college age and younger people that online gambling is illegal under U.S. law.

Google’s portion of the settlement is $3 million USD for settling claims that it received payments from online gambling as well in the 1997 to June of 2007 period. A stipulation of Google’s settlement is that Google neither contests nor admits it received money from online gambling.

Yahoo! settled for $7.5 million USD, also not admitting or contesting the claims that it too profited from online gambling advertising from 1997 to December of 2007. Yahoo! paid $3 million USD directly to the U.S. government and agreed to provide $4.5 million USD in online advertising for a public service advertising campaign.

The advertising campaign is scheduled to begin in January 2008 and is intended to educate people that online or telephone sports book making and casino gambling could make them subject to arrest and prosecution. DailyTech reported on the U.S. ban of online gambling with a bill passed in the House and Senate in October of 2006.

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This is ridiculous
By FITCamaro on 12/20/2007 2:08:00 PM , Rating: 2
Why should software and internet companies be held at fault because people with addictive personalities let themselves get addicted to online gambling. Furthermore, there's plenty of people who don't get addicted to it and just wanted to enjoy it.

This is another instance where the minority screws it up for the majority. I love it how our government wastes its time with crap like this. Just like the whole baseball thing.

Let people make their own mistakes and live with them. They learn that way.

RE: This is ridiculous
By creathir on 12/20/2007 2:36:39 PM , Rating: 2
More importantly, why on earth are these gambling sites not allowed to advertise???

Freedom of speech anyone?

Maybe I misundstood the article.

Our government is WAY out of control.... it needs to be taken back to how the founding fathers intended it to be...

- Creathir

RE: This is ridiculous
By fredsnotdead on 12/20/2007 2:46:14 PM , Rating: 1
The gambling sites themselves are illegal, i.e. not run by any government entity...

RE: This is ridiculous
By creathir on 12/20/2007 3:13:45 PM , Rating: 5
They were not illegal until recently. Why should the search engines be responsible for something that was not illegal a year ago?
- Creathir

RE: This is ridiculous
By Oregonian2 on 12/20/2007 5:20:25 PM , Rating: 3
Maybe they were made illegal retroactively.

RE: This is ridiculous
By jak3676 on 12/20/2007 11:52:12 PM , Rating: 2
No, they've always been illegal in the US - it was just largely ignored until it became big business. Then it took the government a while to figure out how to begin shutting it down. The sites still operate legally outside the US borders. They sites themselves are not illegal, its just illegal for US persons to gamble there. Now the DOJ does not allow any of the major credit card companies to let US persons spend money there.

RE: This is ridiculous
By LogicallyGenius on 12/21/2007 7:05:49 AM , Rating: 2
They should sue the Govt for picking them only, why not sue Las Vegas , the evil den of bast*rds.

RE: This is ridiculous
By mindless1 on 12/21/2007 8:12:11 AM , Rating: 2
I think you're missing the point, that the Gov has a problem with it because of lack of regulation and taxation. LV has both of those.

RE: This is ridiculous
By littlebitstrouds on 12/20/2007 2:51:12 PM , Rating: 3
It's like me taking an add out on Google where you can click and order 10 grams of cocaine. It's illegal for me to sell it, and since my profits are Google's profits, it's illegal for them to advertise it as well.

RE: This is ridiculous
By creathir on 12/20/2007 3:23:20 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is, until recently, it was not illegal to even own one of these sites.

- Creathir

RE: This is ridiculous
By Oregonian2 on 12/20/2007 5:21:05 PM , Rating: 2
In all countries?

RE: This is ridiculous
By 1337n00blar on 12/20/2007 5:57:40 PM , Rating: 2
that's blatantly not true - online gambling has been illegal in the US for several years now

RE: This is ridiculous
By wookie1 on 12/21/2007 1:49:42 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I don't think they made the gambling utself illegal, just accepting money from someone in the US. The person playing isn't breaking the law, the site or bank that takes the money is.

RE: This is ridiculous
By Chaser on 12/20/2007 2:55:00 PM , Rating: 2
Our founding fathers, most very religious, endorsed gambling?

Doesn't this tie in with the no overseas internet gambling laws that were put into place Not necessarily as a anti gambling stance but more in response to the outcry by legal domestic gambling and the lost revenues to them and the IRS?

RE: This is ridiculous
By JonnyDough on 12/21/2007 6:05:21 PM , Rating: 1
YES! They ran from persecution in their home nations, and as such realized the value of being able to choose their beliefs and exercise their right to practice what they believed. Their main goal in creating a new government was freedom of persecution for future generations. They envisioned being able to do as they pleased, without government telling them who to be. Can you imagine if the military came to your house and demanded that you recited the pledge of allegiance daily at 8am or be put to death?

The freedom to do as we please was never intended to extend to criminal acts, or cultist practices of burning babies for Zeus. It was intended to allow us to do as we pleased while respecting others. This idea extends into environmentalism, where we don't pollute the ocean currents that sweep past another country, or dump chemicals that seep into our neighbor's well water.

The idea of freedom is governed by respect. America has lost its respect with big business monopolies and capitalism. Selfishness is the constitution. The old one has been disregarded, bent, and burned to the will of those in power. Perhaps things have to get a lot worse before a revolution takes place in which the mass majority once again demands respect, and desires to show it to each other.

Just as the original U.S. Constitution was created in an attempt to ensure the freedom for future generations, so would a new constitution be drawn up in the name of freedom from oppression. Let's hope that when that day finally comes (once the "servicemen" a.k.a. military a.k.a. hitmen wake up and realize who they're really working for and what they're doing) this may happen. As with every revolution, it is a civil war, until the opposing force working for the government decides that killing Americans is not really what they intended to do when signing up.

Unfortunately, as the 1960's showed can get ugly. Most of us Americans seem to be afraid of change, afraid to take on Uncle Sam. We're afraid of not paying taxes, because we end up in jail and stripped of our homes. Tell me, how is that different from any other form of government? Democracy = communism = socialism =?

We need a much better constitution. One that allows us to be free of governmental rule, and instead, uses the government to ensure fairness between its citizens. How is my national guard in Iraq protecting my family again? I'm confused. I'd rather him be ON GUARD here. Let other nations fight among themselves. Let their governments rise and fall.

I think its time that America takes a more mature stance and starts trying to LEAD the world through EXAMPLE, rather than force.

RE: This is ridiculous
By NT78stonewobble on 12/23/2007 10:15:59 AM , Rating: 2
Please remember that your government is representing the majority of voters, thus it is what "you" want...

Why mention taxes like that ? You don't wanna pay any tax is that it?

Well you won't like an army either or ... schools ... or hospitals?

RE: This is ridiculous
By Polynikes on 12/20/2007 3:15:45 PM , Rating: 2
From 1997 to whenever exactly online gambling was made illegal, it was legal to gamble online. Why, then, should it have been illegal to advertise? I don't understand. This sounds like charging someone with a crime that they committed before it was illegal, when it wasn't a crime.

RE: This is ridiculous
By littlebitstrouds on 12/20/2007 2:49:12 PM , Rating: 1
Why should a bar cut off a guy who's obviously to drunk? I mean it's his problem that he doesn't know when to stop drinking and kills himself. That bar should be worried about more important things, like making better drinks, installing karaoke machines, and hiring bigger and badder bouncers. Just let the guy die, it's his damn fault.

BTW, the government is vast, I highly doubt any money, or recourses were taken away from fixing other things... in fact here's more money to fix other things woot. Gambling is illegal, if you let people get away with one illegal thing what's stopping worse?

RE: This is ridiculous
By Chaser on 12/20/2007 3:00:59 PM , Rating: 2
Bars can cut off customers that "appear to be intoxicated" as to prevent them from harming themselves and to possibly prevent them from getting behind the wheel of a car and kill someone else also?

RE: This is ridiculous
By fic2 on 12/20/2007 2:54:26 PM , Rating: 5
It's not about gambling addicts. It's about Uncle Same wanting his share of the take.

RE: This is ridiculous
By 1337n00blar on 12/20/2007 6:17:51 PM , Rating: 3
no, it's about uncle sam taking money from casino lobbyists who don't want competition - otherwise wouldn't the government just impose a tax instead of banning it completely?

RE: This is ridiculous
By Wolfeymole on 12/24/2007 10:32:18 AM , Rating: 2
You have it in one fic
Replace Government with the word Mafia and it's very simple.
The government can tax places like vegas etc but can't guarantee income from online gambling.

RE: This is ridiculous
By Vanilla Thunder on 12/20/2007 4:06:05 PM , Rating: 2
I love it how our government wastes its time with crap like this. Just like the whole baseball thing.

I hate to get off subject, but you can't possibly tell me that you don't think that the gov't needed to get involved with the state of performance enhancing drugs and baseball? I would agree with you if Bud Selig and the player's union would have taken the opportunity to stop this epidimic YEARS AGO when they knew, without a doubt, it was a widespread problem. Instead, they let it continue, because the dollars kept pouring in, and they desperately needed them at that time. Not only that, we have witnessed generation old records destroyed by cheaters, juicers, and players that have marred the legacy and integrity of what is known as the "American Passtime". Barry Bonds' record breaking ball sits in Cooperstown, right now, with a glaring red asterik on it, proving my point. Sure there might have been sandpaper, vaseline, and spit balls, but no one was genetically engineering themselves to double their homeruns, back in the day. So, back to the point, sure there are more important things for our gov't to worry about, but I agree completely with them stepping in, and making some people stand trial for the lies they told.

Sorry for the rant, but I am a life long, passionate fan of baseball, and can't help but express my opinion on this one.

Vanilla "Go Cubs" Thunder

RE: This is ridiculous
By FITCamaro on 12/20/2007 4:35:48 PM , Rating: 3
No I don't. Professional sports are not at all related to the government. If Major League Baseball doesn't want to do the smart thing and curb steroid use then they should be left to suffer the consequences. These guys weren't breaking any law. So the government or any authority has no place spending time on it.

Congress has no place spending days, weeks, even months of time they could better use to actually serve the interests of the American people on something like steroids in a professional sport. If the sport wants to destroy itself slowly then it should be left to do so. We should not be having federal hearings for this crap.

The only reason they do is to try and distract people from real issues. The fact that people fall for it just goes to show that average people are mostly like a fat chick with a twinkie being waived in front of her.

RE: This is ridiculous
By tdawg on 12/20/2007 7:25:55 PM , Rating: 2
Here Here! I don't often agree with you, FIT, but on this I do. Professional sports are not the domain of the US government, especially their governance. Isn't that what a commissioner is for? If anything, this just shows how inept Bud Selig is about overseeing his sport.

By the way, who here thinks steroids increases your hand-eye coordination? I could be the most juiced guy in the world, but I'm still not going to touch a 90mph fastball--or a 60mph changeup, for that matter. :)

RE: This is ridiculous
By Vanilla Thunder on 12/21/2007 4:29:17 PM , Rating: 2
By the way, who here thinks steroids increases your hand-eye coordination? I could be the most juiced guy in the world, but I'm still not going to touch a 90mph fastball--or a 60mph changeup, for that matter. :)

No, it doesn't increase your hand-eye coordination. But when you take a guy like Bonds, who even before juicing would have been a hall of fame player, and beef him up by about 25-30%, it's gonna make a HELL OF A DIFFERENCE. If the ball is hit out of the park you can't field it, right? So now all the fly balls 10-15 feet from going, are GONE, instead of being an out. Steroids doesn't make a sub par player a superstar, but they can make a gifted athlete a superstar. BTW, professional sports are a multi billion dollar business, and should be held to the same level of responsibility that any other business is held to. IMO.


RE: This is ridiculous
By damncrackmonkey on 12/21/2007 1:34:45 AM , Rating: 2
I personally can't wait until steroid injections are mandatory.

I really don't think anyone deserves millions of dollars for swinging a bat unless they're completely destroying their mind and body in the process

RE: This is ridiculous
By MrTeal on 12/20/2007 5:17:23 PM , Rating: 2
Forgive me for being an ignorant Canuck, and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. Wasn't the ban on internet gambling sites put in place last year? If so, how can the government retroactively sue back to 1997 for something that just became illegal last year?

Or was the ban just on accessing out of country sites, and the gambling's always been illegal?

RE: This is ridiculous
By P4blo on 12/21/2007 5:15:48 AM , Rating: 3
Isn't it convenient that preventing US citizens from gambling online probably ensures there are still huge numbers willing to make the pilgrimage to Las Vegas?

I bet a lot of powerful "hoteliers" (mobsters?? :P) are loving this restriction!

Missing the Point
By HakonPCA on 12/20/2007 4:09:42 PM , Rating: 2
I think many of you are missing a major point, Gambling is a heavily lucrative and also very heavily monitored business.

When you gamble online you have zero security that the professed odds of winning are really there. When you gamble in Las Vegas or Atlantic City, there are huge governming bodies to ensure that the odds are correct in each maching and if they are wrong the consequences are severe.

So yes, its lame that these sites are illegal, and if people want to waste their money maybe they should have that right but each state gets to decide that themselves; but there is a clear reason as to why they are illegal because there is no way to guarantee that the slot you're playing is legit or the cards you are being delt are truly random, etc. If you still don't believe me, come sign up for my new online gambling site!! LOL

RE: Missing the Point
By HakonPCA on 12/20/2007 4:12:39 PM , Rating: 2
and you'd better watch out for "Governming" bodies, they are very dangerous. Also those "machings" too. (Stupid spelling)

RE: Missing the Point
By kilkennycat on 12/20/2007 11:01:55 PM , Rating: 2
Naw. DailyTech has no user-accessible capability for editing out errors in already-published postings. These particular errors are likely to have been typos. Not all of us are accurate typists. Or are always careful to preview our postings.

I refer the Daily Tech web-designers to "The Tech Report" for an excellent implementation with regard to correcting such after-posting errors.

RE: Missing the Point
By Xerio on 12/21/2007 10:19:33 AM , Rating: 2
The easy way to resolve typos (and some grammar issues) is to type your message in a word processor and use that to check the spelling, then copy and paste it into here. :)

RE: Missing the Point
By Rockjock51 on 12/27/2007 9:10:10 PM , Rating: 2
Or use Firefox

By JDub02 on 12/21/2007 12:51:10 PM , Rating: 2
This appears to be extortion by politicians and lawyers using the might of the US government. How does this penalty benefit the public? I can definately see how it benefits the lawyers.

"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference
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