Kentucky Judge Postpones Domain Seizure
October 2, 2008 (Online Casino Reports) — Today's edition of Online Casino Reports offers a helpful update of the Kentucky situation.
"Following what would have been a major setback to online gambling sites in the USA," writes Brett C for the online magazine, "the Poker Players Alliance breathed a sigh of relief on Friday. The Kentucky Commonwealth had earlier staunchly supported a measure that called for the state seizure of 141 domain names of illegal online gambling sites. The forfeiture of these sites to the state of Kentucky was on the cards, until Judge Thomas Wingate had his say.
"Executive director of the PPA, John Pappas, was well pleased with Friday's court ruling. Effectively this means that there is a temporary restraint placed on any attempt to seize control of the domain names of the online gambling sites until the operators of those sites have had their day in court. This means that the domain names will be retained by their owners — for now.
"The Commonwealth of Kentucky and its governor are ardently opposed to illegal online gambling. The main reasons are financial: illegal online gambling operating in Kentucky and offering betting to IP addresses in Kentucky is viewed with disdain. Kentucky's profitable horse racing industry stands to lose an unmitigated fortune from illegal gaming sites. The governor is under heavy pressure to protect this entrenched industry. The foregone tax revenue alone that would be lost to gaming companies would mean less for the governor's office and less spending on the horse racing industry.
"Judge Wingate wants to hear the other side, which may result in a settlement. Pappas argued in his amicus brief opposing the attempted state seizure of domain sites, that poker was not a game of chance, but indeed a game of skill. It was for that reason that there should be a rethink on the state's actions. The state is less convinced. They believe that in order to stop illegal gambling in Kentucky, via state IP addresses, all online gambling sites should be seized.
"State attorneys compiled the ‘list of the damned' where Kentucky residents, using Kentucky addresses were able to bet online. The exhaustive list contains both domestic and foreign operators. Among the big gambling names being targeted were: Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker, Bodog, PokerStars and many more. Such is the concern among online gambling operators that several sites have already transferred their operations to UK sites. The state is seeking to introduce technology that would effectively block Kentucky residents from gambling online, in addition to seeking compensation for prior damages."