RE: Kentucky Moves to Block Poker Domains

Governor officially declares war on online poker, web freedom

by , Sep 23, 2008 | 11:37 am

Wow friggin’ wow … sorry, trying to reign in the visceral reaction, but that’s all I can say the more I learn about what’s going on in Kentucky, and Gov. Steve Beshear’s intent on taking unprecedented legal action against online poker (and other online gambling) companies. Don’t think he’s serious — that this is an effort on which he’s willing to stake his political career? The state is already claiming to have seized legal control over FullTiltPoker.com and 140 other sites … and we all remember what happened to Bodog.com the last time American courts got into it with ICANN over issues of not-so-eminent domain.

Have a listen to Beshear’s declaration of war against an industry near and dear to so many of our hearts, and decide for yourself if you think he’s bluffing:

Steve Beshear vs. Online Poker (right-click to save/download)
Kentucky governor on the need for hostile domain takeover
Sep 22, 2008

[audio:KYpokersuit.mp3]
(5 min 29 sec)

Prediction: If this case makes it into court in any non-frivolous way, it will end up in the Supreme Court. With or without online poker as a defendant, Kentucky is challenging what government can and can’t do in terms of policing/taxing the internet, issues of states rights vs. federal law, and matters of international treaty and internet jurisdiction to boot.

Official communications from KY.gov:

Kentucky is the first state to bring an action against Internet gambling operators that has resulted in the seizure of domain names. The order came Thursday in response to a suit filed by the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet on behalf of the Commonwealth seeking to force the sites to block access to Kentucky users, or relinquish control of their domains. Judge Thomas Wingate ordered a forfeiture hearing for Sept. 25th on the matter. The Justice Cabinet had asked the court to order Internet registrars to transfer control of the domain names to the Commonwealth, pending a hearing on whether forfeiture is required.

[…]

Sections of KRS Chapter 528 specifically mandate the forfeiture of any gambling devices, such as domain names and websites for Internet gambling, and make it illegal to conduct, promote, advertise, own, profit from or conspire to profit from an illegal gambling operation.

So essentially Kentucky is asking courts to throw out the concept of innocent ’til proven guilty, and make the state the official sponsors of The November Nine.

What’s particularly funny (peculiar) is that Beshear is actually saying the same things that we are in many respects. Money being lost to [unregulated] online gambling … absolutely … and that’s why we are working on federal efforts to make sure Americans get their legal slice of the pie. That revenue wouldn’t go to Kentuckyians specifically, but hey, you’d have more to work with toward that goal. And:

The unregulated gaming lacks consumer protections to ensure that individuals who choose to gamble are actually paid for their winnings.

Wait a minute, seriously … we have the exact same concerns. And you also say you want to protect Kentuckyians … but making these sites more illegal wouldn’t help that effort … they’d just become shadier and shadier … it’s only in allowing the legal American online poker companies that players would have legally enforceable standards to hold these sites to. ‘Tucky-Guv, are you sure the PPA didn’t put you up to this as some sort of tricky political move? Because these are the issues poker players are trying to bring to light in our fights against some of the same people who have been your enemies before, spewing misinformation like “Casinos increase violence, high school dropouts, prostitution and abortion“:

Dude, brother, I know man, people say some crazy shit sometimes, sensible government be damned. Funny Photoshop, though.

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One Comment to “RE: Kentucky Moves to Block Poker Domains ”


  1. william ingram
    says:

    This is crazy, if I want to play online poker I’m going to play, I don’t think anyone has the right or authority to choose what I do with MY money that I earn. All the bad things that’s said gambling does to your family and the people of Kentucky. Ok, so there’s a few irresponible people out there, so be it. But,let’s look at another fact, maybe we should try to do the statistics on how many families of the great state of Kentucky have been destroyed by alcohol and drunk drivers. How many divorces and school kids have ben devistated by that. Anyone worried about that statistic, probably not!

    Just a few rebuttals to the ignorant remarks..from above

    1: Casinos do not destroy ecomony or jobs, as a matter of fact, casinos boost the econemy and bring a great number of jobs to the lacal area, yes including people from other areas, that would not be in YOUR local area spending their money at YOUR businesses.

    2: Casinos and online gambling do not cause us to file bankruptcy. Half or more of the businesses and familis nationwide file because of work related issues. ( loss of business, loss of jobs due to business closings or downsizing.)No gambling

    3: As far as crime, I don’t know what hat he pulled this 84% number from, but according to FBI statistics, they’re not 84%. You can check these at http://www.bestplaces.net/crime/

    4:Prostitution and abortions..The statement above is , I don’t even know how to say it ” stupid” comes to mind..This happens in most of the cities and towns across America, casinos or not. I had to laugh when I read that satement, That’s reaching deep into an empty bucket. It is probably higher in casino cities, because most casinos are in major cities which do have a larger number of people living in them.DUH

    5: How do you know how much a family will have to lose, when you don’t know what the win to loss ratios are. Maybe we should reguage the taxes on gambling profits to aid in the great gambling people of Kentucky to help them out ..what do ya say..

    I think All the great people of Kentucky and every other state in America should be able to choose whether they want to gamble with their money or whatever. We work hard for what we get, and it IS NOT UP TO YOU or anyone else to choose for us. I have a great idea…You do what you want with all the tax money that you take from us, and we’ll do what we want with the rest. Great Plan !!! YES