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Kentucky Online Gambling Domain Hearing Reconvenes October 7

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Sep/26/2008

The Commonwealth of Kentucky will be in court again October 7 to face off against the online gambling industry.

Kentucky received court permission to seize 141 gambling Web sites' domain names as it tries to put them out of business there. Gov. Steve Beshear (D) said at a press conference that the gambling-friendly state is taking "unprecedented action" against sites that "siphon off money from regulated and legal games," such as the state lottery and thoroughbred racing. Kentucky has lost "tens of millions" to unlicensed gambling, he said.

But the online gambling industry was well represented in numbers and quality of its legal counsel.

The Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association (iMEGA.org) has been granted standing and issued a Motion to Dismiss.

"I have a good feeling about our Motion," expressed Edward Leyden, President of iMEGA, who was on hand during Friday‘s postponed hearing. "County Judge Thomas Wingate is a very straight forward common sense judge and a thoughtful guy so we are in good hands."

The commonwealth has asserted their case under a statute that makes it illegal from running gambling operations within the state that makes mention of "gambling devices" but does not implicitly discuss gambling-related domains.

The prosecution was also adamant in hectoring any lawyer to identify their clients. With iMEGA's standing in the Federal Court, they will not be required to do so. iMEGA is recognized under the Constitution and under Washington Apple Advertisers vs. Hunt as a trade organization that does not require it to name the identities of individual members or companies.

Several attorneys for various registrars, including the registrar for GoldenCasino.com, were present. GoldenCasino.com's domain name was among a handful seized by the commonwealth. The prosecution also wanted guarantees that clients (domain name holders) would not switch to new URL's prior to October 7. GoldenCasino.com has since switched over to NewGoldenCasino.com. Other online gambling websites have told Gambling911.com that they are already in the process of reserving new domains. None of the attorneys present were willing to guarantee such a thing.

"Registrars are caught in the middle here," Leyden points out.  "On one hand they are concerned that the commonwealth will come after them.  On the other hand they are concerned that the contract party will come after them seeking significant damages."

Also on hand were attorneys for the Poker Players Alliance and the Internet Gaming Counsel. 

Kentucky state news organizations were also covering Friday's hearing.

"The common sense people of Kentucky who respect their rights will be following this case closely," Leyden told one of the local ABC news affiliates. 

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Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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