US Threatening Those Who Accept Online Gambling Ads

from the watch-out... dept

Folks in the US government have made it clear that they don’t like online gambling and have almost no interest in simply legalizing and regulating the industry (as has happened in other countries). However, the US is still a huge market for these online casinos – all of which operate offshore. Since they can’t shut these online casinos down, US law enforcement officials have tried a new strategy: threatening companies that run ads for online casinos. Many radio, television and outdoor advertising companies have been receiving stern notices suggesting that they could get into legal trouble for running these ads. Many of the companies responded quickly to ban such ads, though, lawyers are questioning whether they could actually be found guilty of anything just for running ads (that whole First Amendment thing might get in the way). The government, however, suggests they could sue companies for “aiding and abetting” these companies. Interestingly, the article points out that Yahoo and Google have not backed down and are still running ads for online casinos. Now, since many individuals run Google’s AdWords on their own site, I wonder if they could also be accused of “aiding and abetting” in the illegal promotion of online gambling. While it’s much more likely that the government would just go after Google, it’s not inconceivable that they would target those who host Google’s ads as well.

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