Kentucky Case To Go Forward With Online Poker Added To The Mix

Published on: October 17, 2008 

The case filed by Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear requesting that 141 Internet gambling domain names be issued to the state in order to ban residents from gambling online will be continuing on with Judge Thomas Wingate presiding over the final forfeiture hearing on November 17, 2008.  In addition to casino sites, online poker sites are also now being considered within the case and the online gaming community is reacting strongly to the announcement.

The Bluegrass Institute has been added to PPA, IGC and iMEGA in the fight, siding with the internet gambling industry.  There are 16,000 PPA members in the state who are standing up to the Governor, a Governor who was elected on an expanded gambling platform.  Jim Waters, the institute’s Director of Public Policy and Communication argued, “This is using government to shut down competition. The government has no right to do that. If every poker player in Kentucky would contact their State Representative, this can be stopped.”  The competition in question is Kentucky’s lottery and horse racing industry which also conducts business online.

The gambling community feels that the seizure of Internet domains is a violation of due process rights as laid out by the constitution.  Wingate stated that his decision to allow the seizure – which could be only temporary – was because he had sufficient evidence that pointed to illegal gambling activities in the state.  When presented with the ‘poker is a game of skill’ argument, Wingate shot it down by saying, “PPA has not denied that its customers risk something of value, namely money, or that they stand to receive a prize if they win. Instead, PPA urges this Court to deny the element of chance inherent in poker and place domain names offering poker for profit beyond the reach of this statute. We decline to do so.”  

The judge’s decision to include online poker sites in the case is being viewed as a dangerous precedence in Internet censorship and that personal rights and Internet freedom lost some ground.  Appeals are expected to be filed and PPA is urging their members in Kentucky to fight back by contacting their state legislators and explaining to them why poker is a game of skill and not chance.  So far over 2,000 letters have been sent to the offices of Kentucky legislative members.

Wingate verified that the State had the right to seize the domains as ‘gambling devices’ just as if they were tangible objects and they are used to lure players into the virtual casinos online.

Other Recent News:
News Archives
2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
Casino Offers