January 20, 2009 — The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) website is reporting that the Kentucky Court of Appeals has ruled today that the state may not enforce its order attempting to seize 141 domain names, which was pending since last fall.
The PPA's Executive Director John Pappas has made this statement: "This is a tremendous victory for Internet freedom and the rights of Kentucky residents who enjoy playing online poker. We are pleased that the appeals court has forcefully reversed Judge Wingate's earlier ruling and confirmed many of the arguments that have been raised in opposition to the seizure effort. The Court of Appeals has agreed with the PPA's position that Judge Wingate did not have jurisdiction to issue the order that he entered against these domains and that Secretary Brown has no legitimate right to deprive the citizens of Kentucky of the legal right to play poker online."
"On behalf of the thousands of PPA members who live in Kentucky we hope that Governor Beshear and Secretary Brown will abandon this misguided effort and focus new energies into regulation and taxation of Internet poker," said Rich Muny, Kentucky State Director for the PPA, who resides in Union, KY. "This common-sense approach would benefit Kentucky's poker enthusiasts and the revenue will benefit the state as a whole. Rather than spending hard to find dollars on this case, the Governor could actually turn this into a much needed new revenue stream for the Commonwealth."
This quote comes courtesy of the Casino City Times website, which also stated that the ruling may be due to "powerful arguments from a strong coalition of independent voices who opposed the Franklin Circuit Court ruling. Groups like the PPA, the ACLU of Kentucky and the Electronic Frontier Foundation all successfully weighed in with the appellate court from a variety of legal perspectives."
This should be the end of this situation, although Kentucky Governor Beshear may continue to appeal or take other action if he is unwilling to accept this judgment. Still, an important victory has been won on behalf of the online gaming industry today.