Friday, April 14, 2006

Feds Crack Down on Web Publishers for Casino Ads

A much-discussed topic (especially when you want to pull in the end of the quarter billing is) with broadcasters, cablecasters and publishers is Internet gambling. As the Feds continue to educate us that it is illegal in this country, even with offshore betting companies and so is placing an ad on your station or publication. The only advertising placement outside of the “gray area” dot net ads that you will see now and again is found on the web. No more says U.S. authorities and they recently started clamping down on those Web publishers who display casino ads, forcing them to divulge revenues from online casinos and rethink their advertising strategies. Of course publishers think this is unfair, especially when you consider the fact that individual gamblers have very low odds of being prosecuted for betting on these sites. As Wired points out, it's a "largely toothless" law, because so many consumers continually violate it without being prosecuted; in fact, according to one capital investment firm, roughly half of the $12 billion earned by the online gambling industry last year came from the U.S. And so businesses who sell online casino ads come out the only losers. The Sporting News, founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, is one of the biggest, having agreed to surrender $7.2 million to avoid prosecution for advertising gambling sites between 2000 and 2003 on its properties. The other half of that settlement you can hear on Sporting News Radio: a stream of anti-gambling public service ads worth $3 million. Nevertheless, some publishers continue to accept ads from off-shore gambling sites--and those who aren't familiar with the law have no idea they're breaking it. Link: Wired News 04/14/06 – All Bets are off, Online Anyway Past SMM Post: 01/23/06 - $7.2 Million Fine for Gambling Ads

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