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Kentucky Domain Seizure Case Scheduled for Courtroom Showdown Days Away

27 November 2010 by Devon Chappell

Of all the State’s in the…errr, “United” States, it is the Commonwealth of Kentucky which stands out for most online gamblers. Even if you call yourself American but are not actually a resident of Kentucky, there’s still good reason to keep tabs on what is going down in the state made popular by a horse race. In other words, if it can happen in Kentucky, well then, it can happen anywhere in America.

The “it” I am referring to is Kentucky Governor Steven BeShear’s attempt to seize 141 online gambling domain names. And I’m not just referring to any old domains – these are domains of longstanding, reputable online gambling establishments the likes of,, Doyle’s Room and Bodog Life. Granted, the vast majority of the domains are sports betting sites (as this is all about protecting Kentucky’s land-based horseracing industry), however, the principle of using strong-arm tactics to shut down the internet betting industry is just that – a principle.

While Kentucky enjoyed initial success in its case against alleged perpetrators taking bets from Kentucky residents, an Appeals Court threw out the injunction. However, this was later overturned by the Kentucky Supreme Court, and that’s where we are at today…well, almost.

December 6th is the day in which the real legal battle in the courtroom begins.

Who actually takes part in this battle remains to be seen. Whereas the defendants in the case were being represented by the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association (iMEGA), Kentucky lawyers have recently been finagling things so that the actual domain name owners must physically show up in court for a chance at winning the case. The angle currently being taken is to take iMEGA (as well as the Interactive Gaming Council) out of the picture, thus pressuring the domain owners to step out from the shadows.

In an attempt to identify the owners, State lawyers have begun categorizing domains into groups. The initial groups being dealt with are said to be,,, and Others will soon follow. Knowing all too well that the domain owners will be very hesitant stepping foot on U.S. soil, thus risking the chance of being detained for “illegal online casino gambling activities”, Kentucky legal rep’s are once again using fear tactics and entrapment to bring about a case.

If you ask me, the domain name owners would be wise to show up for court. While it seems absurd that Kentucky could actually succeed at seizing the domains for good, they already did it once. Not only that – the same judge who presided over the initial lawsuit and gave the initial ruling in favor of Kentucky, Judge Thomas Wingate, is to preside over the upcoming case on December 6th. If Kentucky does indeed get its way, the only thing stopping what would be a very dangerous precedent is a federal appeal.

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