"GoDaddy.com, the largest registrar, just rolled over," said Joe Brennan, Jr., President of the Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association. He was referring to GoDaddy's decision to turn over certificates to the commonwealth of Kentucky for a handful of prominent online poker websites including CakePoker.com, DoylesRoom.com and UltimateBet.com.
The commonwealth has control over these domains, though they remain live and will be at least until Judge Thomas Wingate of the Franklin Circuit rules on a case involving 141 domain names Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear wants yanked off the Net.
Unlike GoDaddy.com, Network Solutions, one of the largest and oldest registrars, sent its legal counsel to fight against Beshear's actions.
Tim Highland of Stein Sperling represented Network Solutions. He was one of the last speakers after Judge Wingate advised he would require 7 days to render his decision.
Highland told the court that Network Solutions represents some 20 of the 141 domain names listed.
"The registrars are the only parties that have been told they have to do something," Highland argued. "People are not going to domain names to gamble, they are going to the actual web site. A domain is a bunch of letters and numbers. If anything, the online gambling site itself should be seized."
But that won't be easy.
Sex.com was brought up as a domain name that the Government successfully seized in the past but Highland said that was the lone exception.
Sex.com, he explained, was one of the very first domains ever purchased. But the difference is there was no contract between the purchaser and the registrar. In fact, that domain name was practically given away. Today, registrars enter into contracts with clients (the domain name holder).
As for GoDaddy.com, a number of concerned webmasters who purchased their domains through GoDaddy advised us on Tuesday that they would be switching registrars immediately.
Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher