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Is Kentucky’s Seizing of Gambling Websites the End of the Internet?

Inside an unprecedented legal move, Kentucky state Governor Steve Beshear recently declared that 141 named poker and betting house gambling domain names will be seized, since their corresponding web-sites are catering to the residents of Kentucky. Governor Beshear claimed that these domains are considered to be gaming devices, and for that reason, are subject to the local Kentucky laws permitting their confiscation. Beshear also claimed that use of these gambling sites by just Kentucky residents, is directly cutting into Kentucky’s neighborhood industries, namely its state-sanctioned horse-racing and lottery business.

Although all of the named domino 99 gambling websites are physically established outside of the United States (and are regulated by their area jurisdictions), the domain names themselves are registered with a U. Beds. -based registrar (GoDaddy. com). Thus, Beshear claimed the makes them subject to local Kentucky law, which specifically bandit “gaming devices”. Beshear claimed that the domain names themselves are looked upon as gaming devices. As such, Beshear filed a lawsuit that requires the 141 gaming site domain names to be confiscated and forfeited from GoDaddy. com.

In a bizarre decision, Kentucky Franklin County Circuit Court Judge Wingate ruled in favor of often the the state of Kentucky, and set a compliance date of The holiday season 3rd, 2008, for all of these websites to block access to Kentucky homeowners or be faced with the forfeiture of their domain names. Likewise puzzling, was GoDaddy. com’s decision to abide by Decide Wingate’s legal decision.

Those fighting this decision, law firm on behalf of the Internet Gaming Counsel and the Interactive Media Pleasure & Gaming Association (IMEGA), plan on fighting the constitutionality of this decision, and plan on appealing at both the say and federal levels. This could easily wind up going to the Gigantic Court for ruling. They contend that the law appearing applied does not belong in the Cirtuit Court, since the universal Internet does not apply to local law.

Currently, there has possibly not been a general consensus from the effected gaming sites, as to whether or not they plan on abiding by the court’s decision. Right from early indications, it appears that there has been general “ignoring” of the conclusion on the part of these gambling websites, but the final decision that they try to make remains to be seen.

The ramifications of this decision are great. If the gambling websites decide to comply and block obtain of their sites to Kentucky residents, then what is to cease other states from seeking the same sanctions? More importantly, if this determination stands, what will prevent any local jurisidiction from stating than a non-local website is causing economic and industry infringement on a local business? What if Johnny’s bookstore in Idaho, claims that Amazon. com is siphoning away online business from its local store? Will a local judge tip on the confiscation of the Amazom. com domain name, or law that Amazon. com should block access to all Florida residents?

Unquestionably, Internet freedom is at stake here. The global nature of the Internet is certainly at risk given this decision, but it begs the question as to whether local law can control or restrict global law. The future of the Internet as we know it all today, may very well hinge on the final outcome and results of the exact appeal process.