August 3, 2004 5:44 PM PDT

Major Web sites hit with suit over gambling ads

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Some gambling ads on Google, Yahoo and other major Web sites are illegal in California, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

The 60-page filing, presented in San Francisco Superior Court, alleges that the companies sell rights to Web advertisements based on searches for terms such as "illegal gambling," "Internet gambling" and "California gambling."

The online businesses also use geotracking software to target particular regions, including California, for illegal gambling ads, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit demands that the companies stop accepting the advertisements and give California "millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains," said attorney Ira Rothken, one of several attorneys from firms involved in the class-action lawsuit.

The suit is the latest to involve Internet gambling, which has become a multibillion-dollar-a-year business and is usually focused on online poker or blackjack. Wireless interests, including European cell phone service providers, also offer gambling opportunities to their subscribers.

Yahoo and Google, in turn, rake in a majority of the millions of dollars gambling firms spend on advertising, according to the lawsuit. Representatives from the two companies did not return a call seeking comment.

In all, about a dozen high-profile Web companies are named as defendants. Included among them is CNET Networks, publisher of


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Should not be state legislation
How can they pass a state law against gambling ads on the Internet?

Why don't we let _every_ state, country, and province pass their own regulations for what ads you can serve and then count on websites to be able to enforce and keep track of them?
Posted by Dachi (797 comments )
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use every tool to fight the scourge until the feds do their job
It may be true that regulating internet gambling ought to be under the purview of Federal law, but unfortunately the Justice Department has taken the same timid view of their powers in this matter that they seem to take on any issue that doesn't interest them (think spam, immigration, and international phone scams). Nobody but the Justice Department itself believes for a minute that they don't have the power to shut down internet gambling, but until they get motivated it will be up to the states to exercise their powers as best they can.

And let nobody think that internet gambling is a civil rights or liberties issue. All legal gambling in the US is strictly regulated and supervised due to the disastrous effects of gambling addictions on families, teenagers, and the economy as a whole. Organized crime has always taken root in unregulated gambling environments. The flashing lights of gambling ads that once appeared on every otherwise legitimate search engine are really just a form of financial pornography that needs to be erased from the public's web experience.
Posted by Razzl (1318 comments )
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Legalize it.. and lets move on.
"The land of the free and the brave".. so, let us Americans be free to gamble online if we want to.. Millions of Americans do it every year.. The government shouldn't be involved in what we as Americans do as entertainment as long as it doesn't physically hurt anybody else. If the govt. wants their cut.. then let the casinos into our borders to operate and take bets. Richard.. do you remember prohibition? If your wish comes true, it will backfire.. the people have the last say, and they will rise up.
Posted by (1 comment )
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Wise up, Doe doe...
America has plenty of legalized, supervised gambling in safe venues everywhere you look, Doe--Atlantic City, Vegas, Foxwoods, the California poker houses and the Mississippi Riverboats--and that's fine, that's the choice they should have. The nature of internet gambling is that the providers aren't under anyone's supervision, nobody can stop or detect cheating, and the people most prone to addictive behavior can sit in private out of view of help and destroy themselves and their families. There's no reason to allow or encourage the worst type of gambling situation when all of the good ones are available.
Posted by Razzl (1318 comments )
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Feds will be addicted to online gambling tax revenue
Online gambling's not going away. It's a multi billion dollar industry. It's here to stay. The deficit is a mess. Eventually congress will rely on the tax from online gambling

more here:
Is gambling on the Internet legal?
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Investing in Sin:
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Posted by (31 comments )
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