Online giants Yahoo and Google avoided any criminal problems when they agreed to settle with the United States government. The deal had the two companies, along with Microsoft, paying over $30 million for claims they profited from illegal gambling ads.
Now comes the next step in the legal process for the two companies. A civil suit that was filed back in 2004 in the state of California. The trial is set to begin on February 11th.
The lawsuit is trying to make the financial penalty steeper for the two companies. It is also trying to prevent any further involvement of the two companies associated with ads that promote illegal gambling.
The suit claims that the companies did not suffer a big enough financial loss to prevent them from accepting these same ads in the future. The lawsuit is also seeking to have the companies admit that the practice they were engaging in was illegal.
“We believe these companies have been profiting from this illegal practice for more than a decade, and we believe the agreement with the government does not go far enough,” said Reed Kathrein, the lead attorney in the case.
The complaint to be heard in February is also calling for money that the companies received from online advertising of gambling to be forfeited and used to help problem gamblers. The law, however, is not in their favor. It says the court legally cannot help former gamblers reclaim any of their money.
“The settlements(with the U.S. government) are a great victory and a tacit admission by these online advertisers, but there is still more work to do in holding these companies accountable for the harm they have done to Californians, and to keep them and others from continuing these practices,” Kathrein went on to say.