Gambling911.com has learned that an attempt to seize 141 online gambling related domain names by the Commonwealth of Kentucky was done in secrecy and that a hearing to take place on Thursday was originally to take place without the public's knowledge.
"We finally got a hold of the case file," The Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association President, Edward Leyden, told Gambling911 Thursday morning. His organization is representing the industry. "This was filed in secret. It was a sealed case file. This is why nobody knew about this matter."
He added that "This is the kind of star chamber proceeding that inspired the framers of our Constitution to place great emphasis that they did on fundamental due process rights."
Gov. Steve Beshear said his administration has asked a Franklin County Circuit Court judge to give the state control of 141 gambling Web site domain names. Beshear said he's looking to restrict Kentuckians' access to Web sites with names that include some of the most popular gambling sites for U.S. players: bodoglife.com, doylesroom.com and fulltiltpoker.com.
Leyden disclosed that a continuance was likely and a decision might not be rendered until Friday. He was meeting with state prosecutors Thursday afternoon.
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP will be appearing on behalf of the industry. Jon L. Fleischaker will be representing the matter. iMEGA was previously working with another law firm but due to a conflict of interest, selected Dinsmore & Shohl, which is considered the most prestigious law firm in the commonwealth.
Fleischaker is Chair of the Communications and Media Law Practice Group. Jon is the Managing Partner for the Louisville Office and he serves on the Management Council. Jon has more than 30 years of experience in media law and First Amendment cases, actively involved in representation of newspapers and broadcasters dealing with publication issues. He has been the most visible attorney in Kentucky in dealing with First Amendment concerns. Jon also has extensive employment litigation experience, including class actions and individual cases. In addition to numerous appellate cases, he also has participated in 99 cases in the U.S. District Courts.
Leyden also warned that the online gambling industry was falling into a trap by acting in a "fragmented" manner and not coming together. He pointed to the fact that there were lawyers representing other industry parties engaging in so-called "secret meetings".
"We need to all fight together as one to be successful here!" Leyden told Gambling911.
Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher