Internet Gambling World Weighs In On Kentucky

Published on: October 10, 2008 

141 gambling domain names are on the block as the courts in Frankfort, Kentucky listen to the cons the state’s governor, Steve Beshear, offers on why he wants them ‘quarantined’ and not used in his state.  But Beshear was not the only one in front of Judge Thomas Wingate making their opinions known.  Representatives from the Internet gambling and online poker room community were also there voicing their feelings on Beshear’s request to seize domain names we are all familiar with, names like,,, and

The Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative (SSIGI), a major industry resource for legislation of all online gambling on a federal level, released a statement against the actions the Governor is pushing for.  Says spokesperson Jeffery Sandman, “Governor Beshear is right to acknowledge that Internet gambling is flourishing in an underground marketplace and a change is needed to protect Kentuckians and all Americans. Unfortunately, his solution is flawed. Prohibition has failed before and is not likely to stop Kentuckians or anyone in the U.S. from continuing to find a way to gamble online.”  The SSIGI is not a fly by night group either.  They have endorsements from Baker Tilly, eCOGRA, and the Remote Gambling Association, all organizations involved in the licensing and administration of legal and fair online gambling.

Additionally, Ed Leyden, the President of the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association (iMEGA) noted that Beshear’s actions actually violated the ‘Commerce Clause’ in the United States Constitution.  The clause states that an individual state cannot interfere with interstate commerce or commerce involving foreign countries.  He went on to point out that the Supreme Court has been very clear about that issue.  iMEGA is one of the many companies fusing the Federal Government against the UIGEA.

Judge Wingate declared that he wanted a week to consider both sides of the argument before reaching a verdict, one that will wind up setting historical precedent on October 15.  Currently the state of California is deliberating on allowing legalized online gambling based under the rules set out by the UIGEA.  If Beshear gets a win, the entire online gambling industry has to wonder how many more states will follow.

Some of the issues brought before Judge Wingate included whether or not internet gambling domain names were considered ‘gambling devices’ which is seizable under Kentucky law.  This is usually in reference to tangible items and to call things that exist in cyberspace only that are not tangible could be stretching the definition of the law.  Unfortunately Kentucky customers are already getting the backlash of their governor’s request.  Many internet gambling sites are refusing their Kentucky members access to the sites and banning new members from joining from the state.

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