24 oct. ’09 ~ Online Gambling Domains Still Under Seizure in Kentucky
Online Gambling Domains Still Under Seizure in Kentucky
In a report from the Associated Pres, Frankford Kentucky USA is the location where the Kentucky Supreme Court will decide if the state has the power to seize Internet domain names involved in online gambling after hearing arguments from lawyers representing both sides of the issue. The problem stems from clarification issues stemming from the seizure of over one hundred internet domain names. The State claims the online gambling businesses registered domain names are just gambling devices such as slot machines under a different name. The State is maintaining it has the authority to seize the domain names on that premise.
A district Kentucky court, has heard the case as well as a panel of three judges in the Kentucky Court of Appeals. The Kentucky Supreme Court with a panel of seven judges is now weighing it’s decision. Opposition is being mounted to the State of Kentucky’s appeal by the Interactive Gaming Council, and the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association, Inc.,both associations have been active in their rebuttal to the State’s seizure of Internet domain names. These trade groups claim the State is contravening the rights of ownership and the freedom of the internet.
Eric Lycan, an attorney representing the Kentucky Justice Cabinet stated in court, “They (the domain owners) have been using these (domains) to violate the law in Kentucky. They are subject to forfeiture.”
The attorneys representing the domain owners disagree, saying that online gambling isn’t illegal in the state. They maintain the Kentucky General Assembly has not taken any specific action to declare it unlawful. Also putting forth the argument that the state doesn’t have jurisdiction over firms beyond the state and that domain names cannot possibly be described as gambling machines or devices.
Bill Johnson a lawyer representing a number of the domain owners, argued that the state has improperly mixed civil and criminal elements in the case. He said, “The ultimate issue in this case is whether a domain name is a gambling device under the statute,” Johnson told the court. “This case should have never proceeded in the beginning.”
The Poker Players Alliance’s executive director John Pappas issued a statement regarding the case which could take as many as four months to conclude, “The PPA looks forward to a positive ruling from the Kentucky Supreme Court and hopes to work with lawmakers in the Commonwealth on the common sense solution of licensing and regulation.”