Posts Tagged ‘Steve Beshear’

Kentucky Gov Says Whoa, Not So Fast Closing Books on Black Friday

by , Jun 24, 2013 | 3:21 pm

Gov. Steve Beshear (D-KY) says, "I'm better than Tom Schneider at HORSE."

Gov. Steve Beshear (D-KY) is almost single-handedly making sure horse racing interests gets their cut of online poker spoils.

I’m paraphrasing, of course, but I dunno man … it’s starting to seem inevitable that Antonin Scalia may eventually have to reveal his screen name and/or recuse himself to avoid violating any PokerStars T&C’s. But until then, the state of Kentucky is doing its part to make sure the Black Friday cases don’t go away.

The governor’s office put out a kinda strange press release last week, just to let people know, hey, don’t be confused by recent reports of certain online gambling cases achieving final settlement. The great Commonwealth of KY, you may recall, made the bold assertion in ’08 that it had a right to take over foreign web domains that failed to block access by Kentuckians. And now they would like you to know with extra certainty that Kentucky only let go of their claims against Absolute and UB (after a $6 million score) but have not otherwise released claims against poker sites that still have any money left, which they plan go after in full force.

Click here to read the whole press release.

Below is a quick Cliff’s noting some peculiars:


Kentucky requesting to add names to Internet gambling domain list seizure

by , Dec 17, 2009 | 7:40 am

From comes word that lawyers from the state of Kentucky filed a motion add additional US citizens and companies to the list of 141 domains the state has been attempting to seize since September 2008. This is an interesting development since a decision from the Kentucky Supreme Court is expected soon from the October hearing appealing KY’s Court of Appeals decision to prevent the seizure. No names or companies were mentioned in the motion, requesting a hearing on January 20 before Franklin County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate, who granted the request for seizure. More details as they become available.

Kentucky Supreme Court Domain Hearing Today at 11AM ET

by , Oct 22, 2009 | 5:42 am

The Kentucky Supreme Court will be holding a hearing at 11am ET today regarding the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s efforts in seizing 141 domain names. A live stream of the arguments will be available on the Supreme Court site for those wanting to watch the proceedings, with updates available over at the Poker Players Alliance website. iMEGA’s site should also have their own analysis of the proceedings this afternoon.

For those interested, video of the hearing is now available below:

Kentucky Domain Case Goes to State Supreme Court

by , Sep 13, 2009 | 7:13 am

Mark it on your calendars (or just check back here) around October 22. The case of the Governor Beshear and the Commonwealth of Kentucky trying to claim the ability to seize 141 online gaming domains, or “gambling devices” as they were called, to keep them from accessing Kentucky residents will see the halls of the KY Supreme Court next month on an appeal from the Commonwealth.

Many months ago, a group of organizations representing internet freedoms and the rights of online gambling companies won an important appeal in the Kentucky court system, and that victory prohibited the Commonwealth from proceeding with its attempted seizure of those domains. The state promised to appeal to the Supreme Court, and that latest appeal was granted this month. Those fighting the state on the matter include iMEGA (Internet Media Entertainment & Gaming Association), PPA (Poker Players Alliance), ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), CDT (Center for Democracy and Technology, EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation), Internet Commerce Association, eBay, and Network Solutions. (Can we win on number of appellees alone?)

According to iMEGA’s announcement:

The Supreme Court has set oral argument in Commonwealth of Kentucky v. IMEGA, et al for 11 a.m. on Thursday October 22, 2009 in the Supreme Court courtroom. The order allots 15 minutes for each side.

“We’ve been waiting for this for a long time, and we’re going to win again,” said Joe Brennan Jr., iMEGA’s chairman. “From the beginning, Kentucky law has clearly supported our position, and a win in the State Supreme Court will put the final emphasis on that.”

Mid-Air Poker Blogging, Online Play

by , Jul 24, 2009 | 1:22 pm

Pardon the unprofessional nanny-nanny boo-boo to Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, but I am currently in your airspace — and therefore your jurisdiction — playing a sit-n-go on PokerStars. (UPDATE: Or at least I was; never mind, out in 8th.)

Anyhow, part of the point of this post is a just-because-I-can: First time I have ever played on an airplane — like while we’re actually flying in the air! — and I think that’s pretty darn neato. (And am thankful that AirTran, so far, has not blocked PokerStars, Full Tilt, Pokerati, Wicked Chops, or … actually, I’m kinda afraid to check anything by the Bang Brothers.)

See what I’m getting at here? Me neither … but I swear it’s relevant, because technically I’m in Kentucky right now, theoretically I could be in Washington State, and no matter what the state of the UIGEA, I’m pretty sure there is not proper justification for shooting this plane down.

Anyhow, crap, I gotta finish up this post because I’m running out of power … wi-fi on this Boeing 717 yes, power outlets no … but technology, internet, jurisdictions, mid-air financial transactions … this is the stuff our future laws will have to deal with, and obviously simply trying to prohibit online poker play or even just attempting to enforce the sooo-like-2006 UIGEA won’t cut it.

Kentucky, iMega, and Denmark in Online Gambling News

Perspectives Weekly

by , Jun 5, 2009 | 6:35 pm

Let’s get ready to rumble! It’s time for the next round in the battle of iMega vs. the State of Kentucky! Not only that, but this week we show video evidence of Governor Steve Beshear’s true motivations for banning online gambling in that state! Also, we have online gambling news from Intertops, Microsoft, and Denmark! What a show!

RE: Kentucky Appeals Kentucky Appeal

More technicality than principle; internet police laws at stake

by , Jan 21, 2009 | 4:22 pm

A look at the non-poker media’s take on the Kentucky case as it moves through The System:

From the subscription newsletter blog Daily Online Examiner

By Wendy Davis, Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Kentucky’s Move To Kill Online Gambling Squashed — For Now

In a closely watched case, an appellate court in Kentucky rebuffed the state governor’s attempts to shut down online gambling. But, while the case attracted attention from a wide range of outside groups who made all sorts of lofty constitutional arguments, the judges ended up deciding the case on a technicality.

The court ruled 2-1 that the government couldn’t confiscate domain names of 141 out-of-state gambling sites because the 1974 forfeiture law only applied to gambling “devices,” like roulette wheels.

“It stretches credulity to conclude that a series of numbers, or Internet address, can be said to constitute a ‘machine or any mechanical or other device,’ ” judge Michelle Keller wrote.

The dispute started late last summer, when the state hired a law firm to bring proceedings against online gambling companies. At the time, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear made no secret of his protectionist motives. He said he wanted to shutter the gambling sites as part of an effort to preserve horse racing, which he termed the state’s signature industry.

As news of the court showdown spread, a wide range of groups questioned whether one state could legally reach beyond its borders to claim jurisdiction over sites with a global reach. Outside parties — ranging from trade organizations like the Interactive Gaming Council and the Internet Commerce Association to civil rights groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and ACLU — weighed in on behalf of the Web sites.

The groups argued the law was unconstitutional for a host of reasons, including that Kentucky had no right to block sites visited by a worldwide audience.

While the appeals court dodged those issues for now, they’re bound to recur. If Kentucky rewrites its laws to specifically include domain names, the court will again be faced with determining how far one state can go to police the Web.

See what others are saying on the Online Examiner blog.

I guess it kinda depends how you look at it. Some might say a 66-33 percent victory is pretty dominating. Others might see winning by just one vote as a tiny margin of error.

Kentucky Appeals Kentucky Appeal

Pappas: Bring it on You should be ashamed, Gov. Beyotch!

by , | 3:14 pm

The PPA just put out a statement, regarding actions yesterday in Kentucky that shows the Governor has no intention of backing down on his desire to seize control of 141 gambling-related internet domains located outside of Kentucky, and America for that matter. Yee-haw! I’m tellin’ ya … it’s off to the Supreme Court we go on the way-bigger-than-poker issues in play here.

(Anyone wanna agree on a bet over the internet and transfer funds via PayPal?)

Though I’m not totally sure, I think Kentucky higher courts work like volleyball, or tennis after deuce. If you can win two points in a row, you win outright. The state of Kentucky won the first case, and had we lost our first appeal, we’d be dead. But we won … so now it’s their serve, and if we win that — the appeal to the appeal — I think then they can go no higher (can someone confirm this?). But if they win, then we can appeal to the state Supreme Court, yadda yadda.

Anyhow, John Pappas taunting Kentucky gov. Steve Beshear — reminding him he has an election in the not-too-distant future, and a plausibly disgruntled citizenry to answer to:

PPA Statement on Commonwealth of Kentucky Appeal of Domain Name Seizure Ruling

WASHINGTON, DC. (January 21, 2009) – John Pappas, executive director of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), the leading poker grassroots advocacy group with more than one million members nationwide, today issued the following statement regarding the appeal filed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky in light of yesterday’s ruling by the state court of appeals overturning a lower court decision allowing the Commonwealth to seize Internet gambling domain names.

“Kentucky residents should be outraged that the Commonwealth is investing another minute of time and another dollar of scarce resources in this quixotic case. The appeals court’s sound rejection of the Commonwealth’s case should have ended this legal debacle in its tracks. Unfortunately, the Governor and the hired-gun attorneys want to drag their ultimate defeat to another venue at the expense of Internet freedom and the rights of law-abiding Kentucky poker players.”

A copy of the Commonwealth’s appeal can be found at

BTW, for those in need of a lexicographic refresher, here’s a definition of “quixotic”.

Internet Gaming wins a battle in Kentucky

by , Jan 20, 2009 | 4:31 pm

A three judge Kentucky Court of Appeals panel ruled today in a 2-1 decision that the state’s attempt to seize 141 internet gambling domain names could not take place. More details can be found at Poker News Daily and the full decision on the Poker Players Alliance website. It’s expected for the state of Kentucky to file an appeal, which would move the matter to the Kentucky Supreme Court, in the very near future. More news as it becomes available.

South Carolina Court to Decide: Is Poker a Game of Skill?

Kentucky courts update, too

by , Dec 15, 2008 | 9:10 am

Poker is having its day in court, that’s for sure. One case getting press all over South Carolina comes from a busted $20 tourney being held in a private home — raided in 2006 by heavily armed police — where 5 of the 25 arrested have refused generous plea bargains and are trying to persuade a presumably non-poker jury that poker Texas Hold’em is indeed a game of skill. A judge has ruled that the defendants do indeed have the right to present witnesses and evidence to make to support this claim. A court date is expected to be set for later this winter.

More here ( and here (Up for Poker).

This is exactly how California became California, poker-wise — it took arguments about skill in the courts to pave the way for all the great poker there. I don’t know the details of the cases, but Mike Caro was one of the guys who testified, bringing charts and graphs to show statistics of specific games — hold’em, Stud, and 5-card Draw, I believe.

Meanwhile, also going on last week and drawing lots of non-poker attention (Lexington Herald-Leader, Business Week, … a Kentucky Court of Appeals will attempt to begin to start to decide: Does a single US state have the right to venture across its own borders to seize internet domains of businesses based in Costa Rica and run out of a protected Indian nation in Canada … and who will get to hold onto these domains while the courts figure it all out. The court will supposedly be making its decision in January, and judicial facial tells suggest poker is leading in this court 2-1.

You know, the evidence thing has me thinking … one of the hardest things for Kentucky to prove in their case will be that online gambling does actually hurt regulated Kentucky gambling interests. You don’t have to look much further than the WSOP to present actual numbers refuting this claim. So what evidence will Gov. Beshear and the state be able to present — they have the burden of proof, after all — that suggests the opposite? I don’t think it exists, at least nothing stronger than what the poker side could present.

Meanwhile, Kentucky Court Stuff to Non-Pokery People

Domain name can’t be a gambling device

by , Nov 10, 2008 | 1:25 pm

Right now, the Supreme Court is (re)considering connotations of the F-word when mentioned in passing on TV. That seems particularly interesting — at least in terms of the perspective it provides — as I’m reading what Bill Poser has to say about the Kentucky domain seizure cases. Poser is a linguistics expert who contends that Gov. Steve Beshear’s claims have no teeth, because of a linguistics problem treating a domain name like a “gambling device” … which he contends simply holds no legal water.

In addition, this non-poker blogger says the case has problems because:

* Many people like internet gambling.
* Many people think that it is none of the State’s business.
* The State’s action is not the result of a consistent anti-gambling policy but is pure rent-seeking. Kentucky is a gambling-friendly state. It is just trying to reduce the competition.
* Quite a few of the domain names are not in fact associated with internet gambling sites.
* The court’s ex parte order violates due process.
* The court does not have jurisdiction over either the businesses or the domain name registrars.
* The court’s action violates the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.

For those of you who care about the outcome of this case — and really, we all should, regardless of how we feel about poker, because it potentially impacts anyone who uses the F-ing internet — check out the rest of what he has to say.

Perspectives Weekly: The Kentucky Verdict Is In

Plus the Bodog audit and poker players for John McCain

by , Oct 17, 2008 | 9:37 am

Well, to be truthful, it coulda been a lot worse! On first glance, it may look like Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has won this court case… but not so fast. While it’s true that the court upheld the state’s right to seize the domain names, the did give online gambling company’s an out! Tune in to see!

We also release the results of our Bodog cash out audits to see how long it really takes for players to get their money… plus ask why so many online gamblers seem to be in favor of electing John McCain!


Perspectives Weekly

by , Oct 10, 2008 | 12:00 pm


Exposing John McCain! How deeply is he tied to the gambling industry? Does he want to criminalize online gambling? Why are Washington ethics groups calling for an investigation of his gambling activity? It’s certainly not our job to tell Americans whom to vote for this November, but it is our job to make sure people make the most informed decisions that they can. To that end, we have been doing some digging this week on what John McCain says and what John McCain does… and they don’t always seem to agree when it comes to gambling! Plus an in-depth look at the Kentucky domain name game.

Kentucky Domain-Grab Hearing Today

Kentucky Already Seized Certificates for UB, Doyles Room, and Cake

by , Oct 7, 2008 | 8:33 am

Arguments are being heard today in the Franklin County Circuit Court in Kentucky regarding the attempted seizure of 141 gaming-related domain names.

At the request of Governor Steve Beshear, the Commonwealth of Kentucky filed a civil action on September 18, 2008 to order sites like Full Tilt, PokerStars, and Doyles Room seized if they didn’t willingly forfeit their domain names, and they would be transferred to the Commonwealth. The order claimed, as did Beshear in his press conference, that the internet domains were “used to promote, conduct, and/or advance illegal gambling within the Commonwealth of Kentucky.” After a continuance, the hearing is today.

According to Gambling911, the Commonwealth of Kentucky seized some of those sought-after domain names last night, including,, and The three sites are still running as usual, but the Commonwealth could reportedly stop them at any time. Holy Massacre of the Constitution! No need for panic yet….

Attorneys defending the sites, and even some simply standing up for the rights of online poker like iMega, are in court right now trying to stop the madness. Since Dan is on a Clonie-stalking cruise in the Bahamas business trip and I am holed up in my L.A. apartment, we were unable to get to Kentucky for the hearing today. But the PPA is there and will provide updates, and Gambling911 is live blogging from the courtroom.

Updates here as they become available…

Kentucky Domain-Grab Hearing Tuesday, Oct. 7th

PPA Helps Organize Emergency Summit on Monday, Oct. 6th

by , Oct 5, 2008 | 9:42 am

Governor Steve Beshear’s attempt to seize 141 gaming-related domain names is certainly not over in Kentucky. The Franklin County Circuit Court will hold its next hearing on the case on Tuesday, so the PPA is working with other organizations to hold a summit on Monday to put rational heads together and devise a plan to save online poker.

The emergency summit is actually being called by the Bluegrass Institute, an independent research and educational institution seeking free market solutions to Kentucky’s problems. The Bluegrass Institute will be joined by the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), Internet Commerce Association, Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association (iMEGA), and Americans for Tax Reform.

When: Monday, October 6th at 1pm
Where: Capital Plaza Hotel in Frankfort, 405 Wilkinson Blvd

According to the PPA’s press release, the purpose of the summit will be as follows:

While the primary focus of the state’s action is online poker, the ramifications extend much farther into the entire realm of online commerce. This is a matter of the gravest importance, and the Bluegrass Institute is urging anyone with an interest in protecting internet freedom to join the protest against this egregious action.

Does Kentucky have jurisdiction to seize these domain names? What are the national and international ramifications should Kentucky succeed in this seizure order? What threat does this action make to the future of internet freedom and technological innovation? Do domain names fit the Kentucky statutorily definition of a gambling device?