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Lawsuit Over Gambling Advertisements Continues

Yahoo, Google and several other major websites and companies have been hit with a lawsuit last summer saying they carry online gambling ads in violation of California law (see Update 24; advertising unregulated gambling in California to people in California for play in California is illegal under California criminal law).  Mario Cisneros and Michael Voight filed the suit, claiming that they lost money as a result of gambling in unlicensed online casinos that were advertised alongside search results.$100,000 in the case of Mr. Voight alone.  

In June 2005, California state Judge Richard Kramer in San Francisco ruled that the suit can proceed with the evidence gathering process in the case.


Text of the complaint


In 2004, the German Federal Court of Justice had to decide about an hyperlink to a gambling website that had a licence in Austria, but not in Germany (Text of the decision in German, for more information see Update 18).The link could be found at the end of a report about an ex-model that had become a businesswoman and started a gambling company. A competitor in Germany filed a complaint about the article, claiming the hyperlink was advertising in the meaning of 284 IV of the German Criminal Code (StGB). The court did not follow this assessment, inter alia taking into account the freedom of expression and of the press (Art. 5 I GG).

The defendants in the US case should also have strong First Amendment  defenses.




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