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Kentuckys Supreme Court to Make Final Decision on Online Domain Name Controversy

he state of Kentucky's pointless quest to seize 141 web gambling related domain names could soon come to a closure. The Kentucky Supreme Court will release its next set of written decisions on January 21st, 2010 and the issue is likely to be included.

If for some reason, the decision is not finalize by then, the next date for the court to release decision would not be until March 2010. This crusade against online gambling domain names started in 2008 at the backing of Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear.

The lawsuit threatened different gaming site that included PokerStars.com and FullTiltPoker.com under a Kentucky law that permits the state to confiscate devices used for illegal gaming. Despite there being no federal or state law that makes online poker illegal, not to mention Kentucky lacking power over offshore online site, Franklin County Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate sided with the state.

A Court of Appeals overturned Judge Wingate's decision. The chairman of the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association, Joe Brennan Jr, which has represented the affected online gaming sites, believes that the Kentucky Supreme Court will uphold the the decision of the Appeals court.

Brennan said that the lawyers representing the state had a flawed argumment from the start. He said that owners of online gaming sites did nothing wrong since there is no Kentucky or federal law that they have violated so the state has no right to seize their domain names.

The lawyers representing the state of Kentucky made a questionable move in December 2009 by stating that they were going to add names of US residents to the case but refuse to names those individuals. Brennan said iMEGA decided not to pursue the issue because it will be irrelevant once the lawsuit is dismissed.

If denied by the state Supreme Court, the last remaining option for the state would be to bring the case before the US Supreme Court, although it does not seem like an issue the US Supreme Court would take on.

Brennan said that it an unlikely event the Supreme Court of Kentucky does side with state officials, iMEGA would bring the case to the US Supreme Court. The lawsuit is pointless because the online sites would continue to operate without their domain names. The only gamers who type in a domain name are the ones who want to download the gaming software for the first time. And the search engines could be reconfigure to recognize a new adress.

After the domain name issue arose, Full Tilt Poker acquired fulltilt.com as a precaution. Brennan said that state officials wanted make it so that if they seize the rights to FullTiltPoker.com, they can redirect then it would redirect players to whatever gaming server that they wanted.

Brennan said that state officials are thinking that they can block the flow of traffic to Full Tilt Poker but all the site has to do is change their domain name.

 

February 16, 2010
Jeremy Evans

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