Private Lawsuit Puts Major Search Engines in the Dock
By philip
A private lawsuit was presented to the San Francisco Superior Court yesterday accusing twelve major search engines of profiting illegally from online gambling advertising. The sixty page filing, which can be viewed in its entirety at, announces:

“This is a private Attorney General action bought as a class action on behalf of the California general public against the major Internet search engines which advertise illegal gambling in California.”

The document accuses search engines, including Yahoo, Google, Overture, Lycos and Ask Jeeves, of selling rights to advertising based on customer searches for terms such as ‘illegal gambling’. This is despite pledges from Google and Yahoo to pull all gambling advertising by the end of April.

The lawsuit further demands that the companies completely ban all forms of online gambling advertising and, in the words of prosecuting attorney, Ira Rothken, return their ‘ill-gotten gains’ to the people of California.

“By this action plaintiffs seek to have defendants paid advertising of Gambling in California declared illegal, seek to enjoin defendants from advertising unlicensed Internet gambling businesses to persons in California, and seek to have defendants disgorge and forfeit all revenues and profits from such illegal activities to a fund to be used for purposes directed by the court..”

One of the plaintiffs, the lawsuit reveals, has lost over $100,000 after using search engines to find online gambling sites.

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