Kentucky Judge Rules: Forfeit Gambling Domains

Kentucky Judge Rules: Forfeit Gambling Domains

By Mike Sachoff - Fri, 10/17/2008 - 6:44pm.

They can keep domains if they just block Kentucky!

WebProNews has just received the 44-page order and opinion from Franklin County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate regarding the seizure of 141 online gambling domain names.

Like China, Kentucky is now trampling on the freedoms of the citizens of the Commonwealth by blocking domains that are legal in most parts of the world.

In essence, the Judge has ruled that the domains related to online gambling operations will be seized by the State of Kentucky unless the sites somehow block access of their domains by those within Kentucky state lines. The Judge, who by all accounts does not understand the Internet, doesn't care about how this impacts Internet business internationally stating, "This doomsday argument does not ruffle the Court."

Since WebProNews and its parent iEntry, Inc. are based in Kentucky we are sensitive to how this ruling will be perceived in the rest of the country and the world. It's not like Kentucky doesn't already have misguided perceptions that we are backward from the left and right coasts in the USA. The Kentucky State Judge doesn't seem to mind that domains are not gambling devices, and that they are owned by predominantly international businesses where gambling is totally legal.

Also, one would think that the Judge would realize that most of these domains set to be seized don't actually allow web-based gambling, but rather they link to downloadable software that players can download which don't connect to the seized domains at all.

The following is the conclusion of Judge Wingate's ruling thus far and he has set a final hearing on the forfeiture of the domain names for November 17.

Conclusion And Order
We note that Opposing Groups and Lawyers argue any judicial
interference of the Internet will create havoc. This doomsday argument
does not ruffle the Court. The Internet, with all its benefits and
advantages to modern day commerce and life, is still not above the law,
whether on an international or municipal level. The challenge here is
to reign in illegal activity and abuse of the Internet within the
framework of our nation's and Commonwealth's existing common law norms
and principles, until express guidelines from sate and federal
legislative bodies say other wise.

ACCORDINGLY, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that further proceedings will be held
in the instant civil forfeiture action without delay. Moreover, IT IS
HERBY ORDRED AND ADJUDGED as follows:

1. The Motions to Dismiss filed on behalf of the Group of 7, the
Group of 2, of Interactive Gaming Council, of Interactive Media
Entertainment & Gaming Association, INC., are all hereby DENIED.
2. The Motion of the Interactive Gaming Council to intervene is
DENIED.
3. The Court's Seizure Order of September 18, 2008 is herby AMENDED
so that any of the Defendants 141 Domain Names, their respective
registrants or their agent, or any other person with an interest or a
claim who, on or before 30 days from entry of this Opinion and Order,
installs the applicable software or device, i.e., geographic blocks,
which has the capability to block and deny access to their on-line
gambling sites through the use of the Defendants 141 Domain Names from
any users or consumers with the territorial boundaries of the
Commonwealth, and reasonably establishes to the satisfaction of the
Kentucky's Justice and Safety Cabinet or this Court that such
geographical blocks are operational, shall be relieved from the effects
of the Seizure Order and from any further proceedings in the instant
civil forfeiture action. The Court acknowledges that in ren
jurisdiction is not unlimited. Once the domain name is satisfactorily
shown as not being used in the Commonwealth for illegal or unlawful
gambling, this Court relinquishes jurisdiction.
4. Upon showing of proof that geographic blocks and/or such other
similar software or device have been installed and are operational by
any registrant or person with interest over any of the Defendants 141
Domain Names, the COMMONWEALTH is herby DIRECTED to serve prompt
written notice upon the registrar/s and/or registry/ies of the
corresponding defendant Internet Domain Name that the Seizure Order, as
to the said relevant Internet domain name, has been withdrawn or
rescinded.
5. The Court hereby sets the final hearing on forfeiture on the 17th
of November 2008, at 10:00 a.m./ EST.
6. The Seizure Order of September 18, 2008 REMAINS IN EFFECT as
amended by this order.

SO ORDERED, this 16 day of October 2008.

The original source of this article is: http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2008/10/16/kentucky-judge-affirms-forfeiture-of-gambling-domain-names

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Dan A. Penning
Farmington Hills and Suttons Bay, Michigan
231-271-4500