One of the world’s leading information search
engines has drawn attention (and users) to "illegal" poker and gambling
sites on the Internet by possibly violating Australia’s Interactive
Gambling Act of 2001.
The biggest target under investigation is Google Australia. The
U.S.-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. According to the
Gambling Act, Australia prohibits the advertising of gambling services
on Web sites where the majority of users are in Australia.
Although Google Australia does not directly list links to poker and
gambling advertising when someone uses common terms such as poker, or
gambling during a search, it has not cracked down on listings that
appear if a user misspells the search term. In other words, casinos and
poker sites are taking advantage of a loophole that bypasses the law,
which clearly states that a company breaks the law if it allows
advertisements from gambling sites anywhere on its domain.
"Obviously Google is thinking it is doing the right thing and not
accepting any sponsored links from these online casinos but somehow has
forgotten to close off the loop of the spelling error," Muncie said
during an interview for ZDNet Australia.