Online gambling sites win this round - Tuesday 3rd of February 2009

Kentucky, a haven for gamblers who want to bet on horse racing, has hit a setback in its efforts to stop unregulated online casino gambling.

In a 2-1 ruling Tuesday, the Kentucky Court of Appeals said the state does not have the jurisdiction to seize 141 online casinos Internet domain names in an effort to keep them from operating in the state.

The ruling also said a Franklin Circuit Court judge cannot hold further hearings on the issue.

"This is a tremendous victory for Internet freedom and the rights of Kentucky residents who enjoy playing online poker," said John Pappas, executive director of the Poker Players Alliance, in a statement.

It has been estimated that about 13,000 Kentuckians play the online casinos.

Jay Blanton, a spokesman for Gov. Steve Beshear, said the state did not receive the ruling until late Tuesday.

"We want to take some time to review it. No decision has yet been made on whether to appeal it to the state Supreme Court," Blanton said.

The appellate court ruling said Kentucky lacks jurisdiction to block online gambling because state law does not define an Internet domain name as a gambling device subject to state authority.

"Regardless of our view as to the advisability of regulating or criminalizing Internet gambling sites, the General Assembly has not seen fit to amend (state law) so as to bring domain names within the definition of gambling devices," the court said.

In an unprecedented move last year, state Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Michael Brown, with Beshears blessing, sued the Web sites. The state contended that the Web sites amounted to illegal gambling.

Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate agreed in November to allow the state to seize the domain names.

Rich Muny, Kentucky state director for the Poker Players Alliance, said he hopes Beshear and Brown "will abandon this misguided effort and focus new energies into regulation and taxation of Internet poker."

"Rather than spending hard-to-find dollars on this case, the governor could actually turn this into a much-needed new revenue stream for the commonwealth," Muny said.

The Interactive Gaming Council, a trade association for the international interactive gambling industry, applauded the state appellate court ruling. Many of the 141 domain names the state tried to seize are members of the group.

"This is a very important decision for anyone doing business on the Internet," said Jeff Ifrah, counsel for the Interactive Gaming Council.

Beshear campaigned in 2007 to expand gambling in the state by opening casinos, but he contended that some of the most popular online gambling sites are bad for the state.

He has said they create ways for children to gamble, undermine horse racing by creating untaxed competition, make it easier to launder money and lack protections to ensure that people actually receive their winnings.

Other news from around the same time

Northern Indiana casino adding $130M hotel tower - Tuesday 3rd of February 2009

The opening of a new 22-story, glass-walled hotel has Blue Chip casino hoping for bigger crowds of g....


Poker business magazine to launch - Tuesday 3rd of February 2009

A week after ending one title, Dennis Publishing is bucking the economic gloom by launching what it ....


Playboy to shut down online gaming operation - Tuesday 3rd of February 2009

Playboy’s online gaming operation, which was licensed by the Lotteries & Gaming Authority of Malta, ....


Irish gamblers bet on inauguration speech cliches - Tuesday 3rd of February 2009

To mark the inauguration of Barack Obama as the forty-fourth President of the United States of Ameri....


Numbers up for Lotto sales staff - Tuesday 3rd of February 2009

Workers at the National Lottery kiosk in The Bridges, Sunderland, were devastated when they were mad....


Meet a gentleman bookie who started a betting revolution - Tuesday 3rd of February 2009

There are plenty of men in their mid-50s who can look back on a life in racing and betting and consi....


New German horse betting channel - Tuesday 3rd of February 2009

German horse racing/betting channel e8 television has launched on Astra (19.2° East). The channel, w....


Santa Ana Star Casino first to launch social networking Web site - Tuesday 3rd of February 2009

Santa Ana Star Casino, one of New Mexicos leading American Indian gaming casinos, has become the fir....


The National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS), an organization comprised of lawmakers from states with casinos and other forms of state-regulated gaming, formally adopted a resolution - Tuesday 3rd of February 2009

key reason that the Illinois Gaming Board rejected a bid to put a casino in Waukegan was that indic....


National Council of Legislators From Gaming States Adopts Resolution Supporting 100% Smokefree Gaming Venues - Tuesday 3rd of February 2009

The National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS), an organization comprised of lawmake....