The state of Kentucky’s attempt to block resident’s access to 141 online gambling sites has proceeded to the next level, as a Franklin County Circuit Court judge refused Thursday to dismiss the case. Judge Thomas Wingate denied pleas by the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association and the Interactive Gaming Council. Arguments will be heard on November 17 before a ruling is made in this case that has been ongoing since September.
The civil action brought by Michael Brown, Secretary of Justice and Public Safety, and endorsed by Democratic Governor Steve Beshear, seeks seizure of 141 domain names of popular online gambling websites. The action claims these sites, including AbsolutePoker.com, CakePoker.com, FullTiltPoker.com and PokerStars.com, “promote or provide” illegal gambling in the state of Kentucky. It is within Kentucky’s rights to seize any and all illegal gambling devices.
Defendants have 30 days to block access to Kentucky residents. If they do not comply, the case will proceed with the site’s name on the hit list, and the site could potentially face permanent shut-down.
Kentucky v. 141 Internet Domain Names has the potential to strike a fatal blow to the heart of Internet gambling, a phenomenon that has riled the Congress and Senate and been an ongoing debate for years. If it passes, other concerned states could follow in its footsteps and bar Internet gambling from residential servers on the basis that it damages the state’s own lottery and/or casino industries. Then if it spreads across the United States, it could herald the death of online gambling as we know it.
I think issue here is taxes. Many Internet gambling sites are based overseas and do not contribute to individual state’s economies. So while politicians such as Gov. Beshear may disguise the issue as damaging the morality of youth, a fine read between the lines tells a tale of money and competition — ironic given the nature of the case.