Google, Microsoft and Yahoo Settle with Department of Justice for "Promoting Online Gambling"
The Department of Justice yesterday announced that Google, Microsoft and Yahoo had all agreed to settle and pay $31.5 million dollars in fines to resolve claims that they had been promoting "illegal gambling" online.
For some strange reason, Microsoft will be paying by far the largest fine of any of the three, totalling $21 million dollars. $4.5 million of this will be paid to the Treasury and the rest will go towards the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children and an online public services campaign that will inform people that online gambling is illegal.
Google, for some odd reason, will pay only $3 million and Yahoo will pay $7.5 million. The Department of Justice claims that these companies accepted online gambling advertisements between 1997 and 2007.
I say that this is "odd" because I would have thought that Google would have made the most money from accepting money for online gambling ads. I am guessing that they cracked down the hardest on Microsoft because perhaps Microsoft wasn't vigilant enough in disabled gambling ads in the past few years, when the DoJ REALLY cracked down.
This is just a small cost of doing business for these companies. Back in the early 2000's and especially during the "poker boom", these three companies were killing it when it came to online gambling ads. Online gambling advertisements were a huge source of revenues, and I guarantee you that a $3 million dollar payout for Google was just a drop in the bucket compared to how much they collected in revenues from online gambling advertisements.
The other issue is how stupid it is that "online gambling" is illegal in the first place, but that's another article. The government will tell you that it is to protect people from themselves. I will tell you that the government is pissed it isn't able to tax these online gambling revenues and wants to make it illegal instead. I mean, how can a government justify having brick and mortar casinos on practically every street corner, where you can go in and lose your house and have a free drink while you are at it, but not allow online gambling casinos? It's ridiculous.
All three of these companies got off really easy in terms of their fines. However, I don't think they should have to pay any fines at all, as I don't think that online gambling should be illegal, but that's just me.
Filed under: General Market News | Internet Companies