Judge Wingate Online Gambling Domain Decision Lousy

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Oct/17/2008
Kentucky Online Gambling Domain Seizures

Few if anyone except perhaps Kentucky Democratic Governor Steve Beshear agreed with a Frankfort Circuit Court judge's decision to allow for forfeiture of some 141 online gambling domain names on Thursday.

Judge Wingate ruled that there will be a forfeiture hearing November 17. A state and federal appeal could be filed by Monday of next week according to Gambling911.com sources.

Attorney Jimmie Johnson told the Courier Journal that attorneys representing the commonwealth may be second guessing this decision as well.

"I've got a feeling it sent a cold shiver down the spine of plaintiff's lawyers who have a contingency contract for getting money in the matter," said Bill Johnson, a Frankfort attorney who is representing seven of the Web sites.

The private attorneys working for the state will get paid only if the state wins damages. Beshear spokesman Jay Blanton said it's too early to speculate on legal fees.

One could only hope that the Poker Players Alliance will organize all of its 16,000 plus Kentucky based members to protest in front of the court house in the state's capital come November 17.

Across the Net, it wasn't just online poker players expressing disgust.

From Zdnet.com:

"I can't see where a state court could have jurisdiction over domain names and sites not residing in its state. It is nearly impossible for them to block everyone in the state. It is more reasonable for the state's ISP's to block access. But even this goes in the face of the sanctity of the Internet. If it is illegal then the user should be held responsible. When a user logs on he/she should have to check a box indicating they are not from Kentucky. This would put the responsibility where it belongs. This is a very scary precedence. This judge sounds like he is simply on a power trip.

"I hope these site owners take this to the supreme court."

----

"It's scary to think a judge believes the state has the jurisdiction to demand the domains be transfered to the state regardless of if online gambling is illegal in the jurisdiction. Would that not be unlike an orthodox state deeming that, oh, Amazon.com is illegally showing women in clothing that does not conform to their moral code and they attempt to seize the Amazon.com domain name?

"The concept behind net neutrality is that even down to the content level, the net is not to be censored. If an individual gambles on a web site and it is illegal for them to do as such, the individual is the criminal. The moment we start letting our judges and government decide how to regulate access to the internet, we take one step closer to becoming a nanny state."

From Forbes.com:

"Is this really worth an effort, money and time spent? Kentucky is always trying to improve it's image and not be seen as a backward state but they seem to mess it all up with crap like this. Way to enter modern era."

From Web Host Industry

"I was running out of characters, so I'll continue here. This case should be thrown out of court for the sole reason of being unconstitutional. What's next? Are states in the Bible belt going to seize control and subsequently block adult websites, because they don't want their residents viewing porn? If Judge Wingate allows Kentucky to take control of these domain names, we're going to be no better than China is and how they already censor the Internet."

From the Courier Journal:

"Shut down all church run bingo, that's gambling, oh i forgot that a game of skill. what a joke. if the churches can profit from gambling then so should everybody, by the way the churches do not pay taxes on money form gambling or on any other income. thats the real crime."

----

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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