May 26, 2009 (CAP Newswire) — Late last year, the state of Kentucky attempted to seize 141 online gambling-related domain names, most of which were owned by non-American interests. Earlier this year, the state of Minnesota announced that it was attempting a similar action, with the goal of censoring online gambling by ordering 11 Internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to a list of about 200 online gaming sites,
Thankfully, neither of these efforts has gotten very far, thanks in part to online gambling advocacy groups like the Poker Players Association (PPA) and the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association (iMEGA). But, neither situation is entirely in the clear, either.
The state of Kentucky was blocked by a court ruling just a few months into its attempt. But that didn’t end things; the case will soon be heard by the state Supreme Court. And Minnesota has received such an enormous (and probably unanticipated) chorus of criticism from people of all political stripes, that it has signaled a reluctance to proceed.
Of course, there’s also the fact that neither state is on firm legal ground in its proposed actions. Kentucky’s censorship attempt is the more outrageous of the two, since it seeks to block gambling domains not just within its borders but all over the world.
“In our mind, they’ve broken no new ground [since their last attempt failed legally],” iMEGA Chairman Joe Brennan told Poker News Daily’s Dan Cypra. “They haven’t strengthened their case at all. They are falling back on same arguments that were unsuccessful at the appellate level: We are bad people, we don’t deserve to be here, and sites don’t deserve to be represented by groups like iMEGA, which is simply an illegal internet gambling association.”
“Every one we’ve spoken to agrees that Minnesota lacks jurisdiction and authority under the Wire Act,” Brennan added about the Minnesota situation. He also hinted that the Minnesota Attorney General’s office “has agreed not to force responses from ISPs in the near future”.
“They’ve acknowledged that there is some contention and they seem to be interested in getting things right. While we’re still on the other side of a contentious issue, they’ve behaved reasonably and professionally.”
Legal filings for the Kentucky case are due on June 1 in advance of a Supreme Court hearing. No timeline has been set in the Minnesota action.