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Online Casino News - January, 2009

Kentucky Appellate Court Rules in Favor of Domains


  Seed Newsvine

by Margaret Oliveira, News Staff Writer

January 24, 2009

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and his "hired", hip-shooting lawyer got a rightful slap in the face from the Kentucky's Court of Appeals, who ruled that a former decision giving the Governor the right to seize over 140 online gambling domain names based on the premise they are "illegal gambling devices", was an erroneous conclusion. What that means for Governor Beshear is that he will not be able to enforce his domain name seizure. It also means that the Gov. will be making an appeal to the State Supreme Court.

In what seemed like just minutes after the appeals ruling came in,  Beshear made a statement basically saying that the "Commonwealth" will not cease to protect its citizens from illegal gambling operations that are stealing millions of dollars from the State of Kentucky. Well, I'm not going to go there for the purposes of this news article - especially considering the steps Beshear has taken to protect land-based gambling institutions in Kentucky.

The Secretary of the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, Michael Brown, was quick to declare that the appellate court did not dispute the fact that millions of dollars are being lost due to online gambling. He was also quick to not point out that regulating online gambling (in the same manner which it is efficiently done in the UK) would give the State millions is badly needed tax revenues.

What Brown and Governor Beshear now hope to accomplish is have the State Supreme Court rule that domain names can be classified as illegal online gambling devices under Kentucky law. This was precisely the basis upon which the Supreme Court made its ruling, stating that, "It stretches credulity to conclude a domain game can constitute a machine or any other device designed for use in connection with gambling".

This was a far cry from Judge Thomas Wingate's initial ruling that even though domain names were "intangible property", they could be owned and sold like any other "property". He said that property is about the "relationship" between people and things.

Criticism of this ruling was quick to come, most notably from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who voiced the ruling was "unconstitutional" and made without any "jurisdictional authority", and that if allowed to stand, would create a precedent for other State's and a myriad of other highly controversial issues. In fact, Beshear's lawyers, who have put over one million dollars of their own money into the case, have been riding on this potentiality. Critics point out this is precisely why Beshear and his team were so quick to challenge the ruling and not give up. They've been doing some gambling themselves and made too much of a wager to back out now.



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