Kahnawake Weighs in on Kentucky Issue (Update)
October 8, 2008 (InfoPowa News) — What is arguably the world's largest online gambling licensing jurisdiction, regulating hundreds of gambling websites across the globe, has taken a strong opposing position to the attempt by the Commonwealth of Kentucky to seize 141 international online gambling domains.
Grand Chief Michael Ahríhrhon Delisle, Jr. of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawàke has sent a strongly worded letter to the Governor of Kentucky, Steve Beshear, expressing concern about a recent Order of Seizure issued by a Kentucky District Court.
The Order of Seizure, issued on September 18, 2008 at the behest of lawyers representing the state of Kentucky, directs that 141 internet domain names of various online gaming operators, including a number of prominent licensees of the Kahnawàke Gaming Commission, be seized and forfeited to the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
"This is a perfect example of someone who knows nothing about the effects of their actions," said Grand Chief Delisle, "It's not the first time that a government has tried to prevent us from conducting business and it won't be the last. But, rest assured, we will always protect our jurisdiction and the integrity of the Kahnawàke Gaming Commission."
In his letter to Governor Steve Beshear, Grand Chief Delisle wrote, "We are compelled to draw to your attention that your actions will also adversely affect the members of our community — and that is not acceptable."
The domain issue is currently on hold until October 15 while Judge Thomas Wingate of the Franklin Circuit Court considers his verdict after hearing legal argument from more than 20 lawyers representing interested parties who appeared before him earlier this week.
Judge Wingate ruled yesterday that until he has delivered his decision on the legality of the Kentucky move, the status quo of the domains in question will pertain, indicating that there will be no interference in the practical operation of the websites themselves.
A spokesman for the Grand Chief said that the outcome of the hearing will determine whether it will be necessary for the Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke to take further action to protect Kahnawàke's interests.