Judge Thomas Wingate ordered the seizure of 132 gambling domain names. But, the order wasn’t just to the registrars, it named the registry as well, Verisign.
The problem exists whether or not gambling sites constitute being by definition a gambling device. Quite effectively argued, the Internet Commerce Association took the stand that many of the sites offered only games of skill like poker. Also pointing out that poker is indeed legal in Kentucky.
Within 12 very decisive points, Judge Wingate addressed this particular issue in item number 6 when it clearly states, “The Court finds that evidence presented by the Commonwealth does establish by a preponderance of the evidence, ‘indeed by overwhelming evidence’, that the domain defendants are gambling devices and gambling records in violation of Kentucky statutes and therefore can be forfeited.”
Since the beginning of this issue, site owners and registrars have not taken the notifications too seriously. Some have complied. But for the most part, these notifications have gone unheeded.
In August of 2008, the Commonwealth of Kentucky launched a sting to see whether or not offshore gaming sites would allow Kentucky residents to conduct transactions. 141 sites were found to be in violation of the Kentucky statutes. However, FullTiltPoker.com, PokerStars.com, AbsolutePoker.com, UltimateBet.com, DoylesRoom.com, TruePoker.com, Bookmaker.com and Bodog.com have been seized by the Federal Government and have been thus removed from Kentucky’s list, having the Federal Government itself to deal with in their own cases.
As Kentucky cracks down and seems to have won for the day, the focus has shifted from .com domains. Because of the fact that most servers of .com domains are based in the U.S. and fall under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Commerce Department, most in the online gaming world are wondering if it wouldn’t just be more feasible to go to .eu domains. They don’t fall under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Justice.
As this case has proceeded, at one time it was sent back to the lower courts because an appellate court ruled that domain names weren’t gambling devices. But, prosecutors returned with further arguments and maintained their stance against online gambling. Obviously with the Kentucky Derby, gambling isn’t frowned upon in Kentucky. Just when the money isn’t staying in Kentucky.