Microsoft Corporation, Google Inc., and Yahoo! pay fines amounted $31.5 million with the U.S to resolve claims on their past promotion of illegal gambling, United States attorney said Wednesday.
The Microsoft settlement, totaling $21 million, consists of $4.5 million to the United States and a $7.5 million contribution to the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children and $9 million online public service advertising campaign to inform and educate younger people that online gambling enterprises are illegal under U.S law.
The educational advertising campaign begins early 2008 for three years, are settlement to resolves claims between 1997 and June 2007 that Microsoft received payments for advertising on-line gambling.
Google pays $3 million resolves claims which they also neither contest nor admit, said Hanaway.
Yahoo! pays $7.5 million, includes $3 million directly to the United States and $4.5 million worth of online advertising for a public service advertising campaign.
The campaign will be designed to inform and educate users that operators and participants in online or telephonic sports bookmaking and casino-type gambling activities going business in the United States may be subject to arrest and prosecution.
The three largest internet companies violated the Federal Wire Wager Act and various states statutes and municipal laws prohibiting gambling.
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 enterprises, said Hanaway.
Honest taxpayers and gambling industry personnel who do follow the law suffer from those who promote illegal online behavior. Hanaway concluded.