January 8, 2009 — Although a final ruling is anticipated to be still weeks away, the attempt of the state of Kentucky's governor Steve Beshear to seize 141 online gambling domain names still has the industry shaken up.
And according to a story featured on today's Casino Gambling Web website, that fear may have more of an effect on the industry than the ruling itself.
If the ruling does ultimately come through in favor of Beshear, the domain name seizure would be very difficult, perhaps even impossible, to enforce, claims Electronic Frontier Foundation attorney Matthew Zimmerman.
As quoted in the story, Zimmerman says, "Strictly as a legal matter, it (court ruling) is not enforceable at all. But if we are talking about domain name registrars who are willing to comply, this thing is as enforceable as they are willing to make it."
"His point was that even if the ruling is unenforceable, some of the sites that are affected might adhere to the ruling to eliminate the legal battle," writes Larry Rutherford in the article. "They are inclined to not rock the boat at a time when a new administration could lead to a regulated online gambling industry."
"If upheld," the story concludes, "the ruling in Kentucky would set precedent for any state to go after any Internet site they feel is in violation of their state laws. That would leave the legality of many sites in the hands of judges in states where the site is not even registered.
"With the ruling coming down any day, many people will be tuned in to see just how much jurisdiction individual states have over the Internet."