As reported in our previous article on the Kentucky domain name seizure, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear ordered the seizure of 141 domain names with connections to online gambling. Governor Beshear orchestrated this seizure based on a Kentucky law that allows the state to seize gambling devices, which the state is claiming the domain names are. The governor admits that his motivation in seizing the domain names is to protect Kentuckyâ€™s horse racing industry from competition. Among the 141 domain names are eight poker sites and a multitude of online sportsbooks and casinos, but not one site devoted wholly to betting on horses.
Franklin County Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate granted a continuance on the seizure of the domain names last week pending the outcome of the October 7thÂ hearing where Wingate heard oral arguments for three and a half hours.Â Judge Wingate announced on Tuesday he is delaying the ruling for a week, citing the complexities of the case as the main reason for the delay.
The ordered seizure sparked a ferocious defense from online gambling advocates, notably the Poker Players Alliance and the Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association, who provided â€œfriend of the courtâ€ briefs to Judge Wingate. Also arguing their points were a multitude of attorneys representing the domain names.
Some of the points brought forth in the hearing question whether Kentucky has the right to seize the domain names, as they are internet domain names related to international commerce, which is typically a federal matter and whether domain names can possibly be considered gambling devices. Other points brought up ask whether the action violates the US Commerce Clause and the first amendment rights of US citizens to view information of their choice over the internet.
One thing is certain, Judge Wingateâ€™s decision will be eagerly awaited by both sides.