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Microsoft, Google, Yahoo settle gambling claims

20 декабря 2007

Companies agreed to a settlement worth $31.5 million to resolve accusations that the companies promoted illegal Internet gambling, the Justice Department said on Wednesday.

The companies were accused of receiving money from online gambling businesses to advertise illegal betting from 1997 through 2007.Microsoft, Google, Yahoo settle gambling claims

As part of the settlement, the companies will pay cash to the U.S. government and provide millions of dollars worth of public service advertisements informing young adults and teenagers that Internet gambling is illegal.

U.S. Attorney Catherine HANAWAY in St. Louis, Missouri, who prosecuted online gambling company BETonSPORTS Plc earlier this year, announced the settlement.


"These sums add to the over $40 million in forfeitures and back taxes this office has already recovered in recent years from operators of these remote-control illegal gambling operations," Hanaway said in a statement.


Microsoft will pay $4.5 million to the U.S. government, $7.5 million to the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and provide $9 million worth of public service advertising.


Yahoo's settlement of $7.5 million includes forfeiting $3 million to the U.S. government and providing $4.5 million worth of online ads for a public service advertising campaign. Google will pay $3 million, the department said.


The United States made it illegal in October 2006 for credit card companies to accept charges for online gambling, effectively closing the market to foreign companies. Many are based in Europe, such as 888 Holdings, PartyGaming  and Sportingbet Plc.


As part of a U.S. crackdown on Internet gambling, two founders of payments processor NETeller Plc were arrested in January. In May, BETonSPORTS pleaded guilty to U.S. racketeering charges and agreed to cooperate in a case against the company's founder and other co-defendants.

Источник: Reuters

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