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September 29,

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Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft Reach Gambling Ad Settlement

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Google Inc., Yahoo Inc., and Microsoft Corp., are the three largest Internet companies. They all now have something else in common. All will be paying large sums of money for their roles in allegedly taking illegal gambling ads.

$31.5 million will be paid between the three companies. All three have also agreed to stop accepting ads for sports wagering and other online gambling sites.

The breakdown of money is as follows, Microsoft was hit the hardest, having to pay $21 million. Yahoo settled for $7.5 million. Google was the lightest hit of the three Internet giants, only having to pay $3 million.

“While we did not admit any wrongdoing. The Department of Justice has advised that online gambling is illegal in the United States and ads to promote it are improper. Google voluntarily discontinued running such ads, which were a very small part of our AdWords business, in April 2004,” said spokesman Jon Murchinson.

The investigation into the three groups accepting the gambling ads was done by U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway’s office, in conjunction with the FBI and IRS. Negotiations were ongoing for the past year to year and a half before the settlement was finally reached.

Indian Casinos Giving No Regard To New Smoking Laws in Canada

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Indian tribes have used their sovereign land clause to wiggle their way around state and county laws for years, this week that trend continues after a tribal casino west of Edmonton claimed they will not respect the new smoking laws.

A ban on smoking in public places will take effect on January 1st and while many business owners will have to adhere to the new laws immediately, the Enoch Cree First Nation casino has stated that they will not.

Chief Ron Morin claims that his casino is on Federal land and therefore is not responsible for following provincial law. A self serving bylaw has been passed by the council of the Enoch Cree First Nation to allow smoking at their casino.

A similar situation is taking place just Southwest of Calgary where the Grey Eagle casino on the Tsuu T’ina reserve has showed that they will also not be in compliance with the new law.

Ottawa justice officials must still approve the Enoch Cree’s motion. In the meantime, Health Minister Dave Hancock is hopeful the Nation will reconsider and follow the smoking ban.

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