Google Australia in Hot Water Over Online Casino Ads
By staff
Search engines with Australian domains, including Google, are being investigated by authorities for possible breach of interactive gambling laws.

In Australia, it's illegal to display gambling advertisements on Australian web sites, and Google Australia may be in violation. Banned services include online casino-style gaming services such as roulette, poker, craps, online poker machines and blackjack.

The US-based company, which operates search engines that target specific countries, has come under fire for allowing advertising links to online gambling and poker sites in its search results.

Although Google does not directly list links to poker and gambling advertising when someone uses common terms such as poker, or casino during a search, it has not cracked down on listings that appear if a user misspells the search term, displaying those ads could result in significant daily fines for violators.

Google isn’t alone in this activity -- little-known Melbourne-based search engine company Web Wombat has admitted to similar problems. Michael Tancredi, Web Wombat managing director, has already acknowledged to ZDNet Australia that its index contains illegal links: 'What we are trying to do is fire-fight, we know it is illegal and we are trying to get rid of them as they come out.”

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