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Online Gambling Sector Awaits Kentucky Decision

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Sep 25 2008 - 10:29am

A group of lawyers have descended upon the commonwealth of Kentucky Thursday morning to block efforts by that state's Governor, Governor Steve Beshear, in seizing up to 141 domain names. Among those in attendance at a Thursday hearing, The Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association President, Edward Leyden.

"In exercising this standing, iMEGA has assembled what may be one of the most talented, experienced, and certainly well-respected white-collar defense teams in the country, BAR NONE.," Leyden reassured. "In short, we provide individuals and companies that may be affected by this Kentucky action with the highest quality of legal representation that is second to none while, at the same time, the opportunity to remain anonymous by letting iMEGA be the face before the court--which is precisely what associational standing is meant to accomplish."

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.

The Poker Players Alliance - a million plus member strong organization representing online poker interests - also said it planned to have legal counsel present at Thursday's hearing.

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. Franklin

County Judge Thomas Wingate ordered the domains transferred to Kentucky, "an important first step" in keeping Kentuckians from accessing the sites and forcing sites to pay damages, Beshear said.

The state's Justice and Public Safety Cabinet had asked the court to force sites simply to bar access to Kentucky users, a practice common in Communist China, and if not, to hand over the domain names, according to a written statement.

Beshear has even made the outlandish claim that online gambling funds terrorism, something that has never remotely been proven.

A spokesperson for a spokeswoman for the state cabinet that filed the suit told the Washington Internet Daily that the court order has been served on domain registrars, but doesn't require the registrars to pull the plug on the sites. Kentucky doesn't anticipate any challenges from registrars who say the state is circumventing ICANN policy, she said, since registrars must follow valid court orders under registration agreements.

But already this week a handful of the 141 online gambling domains were turning up under the administrative umbrella of Kentucky's government.

Doleplex Holdings has lost two of its online casino domain names to the state of Kentucky in a seizure. HighRollersLounge.com was transferred over to the commonwealth on Tuesday. Earlier in the day, LuckyPyramidCasino.com was taken over as well. Both are connected with Crystalisle Management Ltd and the more well known Crystal Palace Casino, which was also off line.

But it was unclear if those domain names were voluntarily handed over or otherwise seized. Doleplex Holdings head, Warren Cloud, passed away suddenly from a heart attack this summer and his online casino group was said to have gone off line soon thereafter.

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Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

Comments

This is exactly the same idiocy the judge who ruled initially in the Spamhaus case a year back tried to ply. These judges are obviously so out of touch with today's realities of technology, it boggles the mind at how they can keep their jobs. Kentucky, this is MASSIVE egg on your face. Do you want to know how many international treaties have just been broken? I hope you enjoy the ensuing lawsuits, as well as the decision turnover which WILL happen, quite probably by more well informed higher courts.
I'm an American and this is exactly the kind of behavior that makes the rest of the world want us to relinquish our controls over the internet. It is absolutely unacceptable for the government of Kentucky (or America for that matter) To seize ownership of domains that affect the whole worlds internet traffic. This judge and Governor obviously don't understand what the internet is or how it works. The only thing I could see them legally getting away with would be to have the dns servers that are located WITHIN the state of Kentucky to not server responses for those domains. (and that is also a horrible idea, for many reasons many being technical in nature) . I'm pissed. I don't even use these services but I don't think that our government has any right to do what it is in this situation. Poker players of the world perhaps it is time for you to run your own dns servers. Put them offshore far away from American control (where they should be) and then publish the information and some nice graphical walk throughs for the non technical folks demonstrating how to add them to their computers. Thus circumventing then entire sphere of influence and control these guys are using. Anyway this is just plain wrong. It should not be allowed. This judge shouldn't be allowed to make any more decisions regarding our internet (which happens to be a GLOBAL thing read: not just Kentucky). Also the Governor should loose his ability to file any more cases regarding technical matters because he has attacked it from the wrong angle and broke the internet and made America look like a bunch of assholes. Great job just what we need more reason for the rest of the world to think our country is run by ignorant minded assholes who will do what ever they want regardless of if they have the authority to do so and with no regards to the consequences of their actions on others
I see that the site is up, but looking at the WHOIS information, GoldenCasino.com now belongs to Michael Brown, Commonwealth of Kentuky, while the previous two show that ownership is now transferred to Eric Lycan, Commonwealth of Kentucky Justice Cabinet. Surely if this was being done by the book, all the domains would rest with a single entity? :: CasinoMOZ ::
our country lost its freedoms, granted by the constitution, long ago. my best guess is when President Kennedy was shot, they assumed that they were untouchable ('They' refers to the hidden powers that be). Now 'They' do whatever it is that they wish, and as long as the American people have enough gas to fuel their Escalade, the people don't notice anything. There was alot of buzz about the Chinese fake fireworks, but does anyone remember hearing about the people that had their homes raided because they **PLANNED** to protest the Republican National Convention. Let me bear down on that point. The people had not yet committed a crime, but their homes were raided. "Planning, however careful, was followed by unexpected preemptive raids at the start of the convention, initiated by the local sheriff, and in coordination with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (Wikipedia.org, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Republican_National_Convention#Police_raids_on_protesters_and_arrests) Similar events happen all the time. Police now have the right to stop your car, anytime they wish, with no prior reasonable suspicion. The FBI can tap your phone. Law enforcement can raid your home, anytime, without warrant or just cause, at any time. These are the things we do hear, or read about. Imagine what they DON'T tell us? Want to talk about lottery? North Carolina spewed the excuse of the lottery being for the educational system. I think they also earmarked a portion for our roadways. Our roads are horrible, still, but that's ok. Our children still see lunchroom price increases every year, this year it was $.40 in our county. Our teachers still have to provide some of the materials out of their own pockets, to fill the gaps when the parents can't afford to buy materials for their children. My daughter by the fifth day of school had already brought home two fundraisers. Where is the all precious lottery money that was supposed to be going to our kids? I like Kentucky, at least as much as I can, having spent two days there 20 years ago. Yet I'm certain that they are just like North Carolina. So, come on guys ... where's the lottery money you do have?