Strong Legal Victory for Online Poker In KY Domain Seizure Case

by Lou on January 21, 2009

Yesterday, in what amounts to a stunning victory for online poker, civil libertarianism, and Internet freedom too, the Kentucky Court of Appeals issued a ruling prohibiting the Franklin Circuit Court from enforcing its seizure order against the 141 domain names in the domain seizure case.
The Court found that Internet domain names are not a “gambling device” under Kentucky law and that the Franklin County Circuit Court’s ruling that these domain names constituted gambling devices that were subject to forfeiture was erroneous.

Groups like the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), the ACLU of Kentucky, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation all provided strong and compelling arguments from a variety of legal perspectives for the appellate court.

In case you haven’t been following this story—we covered it initially on September 26—Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear seized 141 internet gambling domains, including those belonging to several major online poker rooms such as Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars and other sites that included absolutepoker.com, bugsyclub.com, cakepoker.com, doylesroom.com, fulltiltpoker.com, pokerstars.com, pokertime.com, royalvegas.com, truepoker.com, ultimatebet.com, and microgaming.com.
The Commonwealth of Kentucky’s court order for the seizure and forfeiture of 141 internet domain names was predicated on the rationale that these sites were “…used to promote illegal gambling within the state.” Back in September, the Franklin Circuit Court found probable cause to believe the domain names were used in connection with illegal gambling within Kentucky, and found sufficient basis to order their seizure.

“This is a tremendous victory for Internet freedom and the rights of Kentucky residents who enjoy playing online poker,” said John Pappas, Executive Director of the Poker Players Alliance. “We are pleased that the appeals court has forcefully reversed Judge Wingate’s earlier ruling and confirmed many of the arguments that have been raised in opposition to the seizure effort. The Court of Appeals has agreed with the PPA’s position that Judge Wingate did not have jurisdiction to issue the order that he entered against these domains and that Secretary Brown has no legitimate right to deprive the citizens of Kentucky of the legal right to play poker online.”
“On behalf of the thousands of PPA members who live in Kentucky, we hope that Governor Beshear and Secretary Brown will abandon this misguided effort and focus new energies into regulation and taxation of Internet poker,” said Rich Muny, Kentucky State Director for the PPA, who resides in Union, KY. “This common-sense approach would benefit Kentucky’s poker enthusiasts and the revenue will benefit the state as a whole. Rather than spending hard to find dollars on this case, the Governor could actually turn this into a much needed new revenue stream for the Commonwealth.”

{ 1 comment }

Everest poker bonus January 22, 2009 at 9:36 pm

Which poker room is that on the screenshot? I don’t recognize it

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