All Eyes on Kentucky as Internet Gambling Domain Decision Nears

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Kentucky Domain Case

Larry Dale Keeling, Lexington Herald-leader columnist, offered his own opinion on what will likely transpire this week in his home state of Kentucky where a Franklin Circuit Court judge is set to make a precedent-setting case related to the Internet.

Who would have though that Franklin County, Kentucky, would become the focal point of Internet freedoms and domain law?

Here is what Keeling had to say - offering a local perspective on the landmark case that has stretched well beyond the borders of online gambling.

"After listening to four hours of arguments in Franklin Circuit Court on Tuesday, I am even more doubtful that Gov. Steve Beshear's administration will succeed in its attempt to seize the domain names of 141 online gambling sites, force the owners of those sites to block access by Kentuckians and recover restitution for past illegal on-line gambling in the state.

"To this non-lawyer, the attorneys representing the owners of gambling sites made a good argument that even though illegal on-line gambling clearly is occurring in Kentucky, the state's courts don't have jurisdiction to approve seizure of the domain names because none of the registrars that register them nor the registrants that own them are located in the state.

"They made a similarly cogent argument that, rather than being "gambling devices" as the state's lawyers claim, these domain names are more akin to your local bookie's phone number or street address.

"Ironically, although numerous lawyers from Kentucky and around the country are involved in this case, the firm that appears to be taking the lead in opposing seizure is Stites and Harbison.

"That's the firm where Beshear and J. Michael Brown, secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, worked until recently. It is Brown's cabinet that is pursuing the case."


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