Was Charged With Running Promotions for Web and Phone Betting Services

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The Sporting News has agreed to a $7.2 million settlement with federal prosecutors to settle claims that the magazine promoted illegal gambling by accepting ads for unlawful Web and phone-betting services.
'Sporting News' has agreed to pay $4.2 million to the government and fund a $3 million public service campaign against illegal gambling.

Must fund PSAs
Under the terms of the deal, announced by a U.S. attorney on Jan. 20, the magazine paid the government $4.2 million and agreed to conduct a $3 million, three-year public-service campaign warning against illegal gambling services.

The government went after The Sporting News for running the ads in its print edition, online and on the radio between the spring of 2000 and December 2003.

The Sporting News was aware that its conduct and the fees it accepted in exchange for its conduct were proceeds of illegal gambling, which was aiding and promoting illegal conduct,” the government said in a statement.

In its own statement, The Sporting News said it ceased accepting the contested ads as soon it was notified that the government viewed taking them as a crime in itself.

'Please to resolve this matter'
The Sporting News places a priority on its responsibilities under the law and its commitments to its customers,” said Rick Allen, CEO, The Sporting News. “We are pleased to resolve this matter and look forward to continuing to provide high-quality sports content in our print, radio and online business units.”

The Sporting News, which publishes 60 times a year, had an average paid circulation of 713,158 during the six months that ended June 30, 2005, according to its most recent statement to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

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