Kentucky Governor Seizes 141 Illegal Online Gambling Site Domain Names

In an effort to clamp down on illegal and unregulated online gambling, the Kentucky Govenor Steve Beshear sought and was granted an order transferring the domain names of 141 illegal online gambling sites to the Commonwealth of Kentucky.This is the first action of its type against online gambling operators that has led to the seizure of domain names. The list includes bodoglife.com, doylesroom.com and fulltiltpoker.com. The first of these, bodoglife.com, has also been in the news over disputes over the bodog.com domain name earlier this year.The action came about as a result of a suit filed by the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet on behalf of the Commonwealth, pending a hearing on whether forfeiture is required.As a result of the seizure of the domain names, Kentucky can require that the illegal casino operators use readily available technology to block their domains from being accessed in the Commonwealth.The Governor is looking to block access to online gambling who he describes as “leeches on our communities.”However there is also the issue of financial loss to the state. The loss of tax dollars to the state has probably weighed heavily on the state’s decision. Even the state admits unlicensed online “gambling significantly undermines and threatens horseracing, Kentucky’s signature industry and a key tourism industry, by creating unregulated and untaxed competition.””Unlicensed, unregulated, illegal Internet gambling poses a tremendous threat to the citizens of the Commonwealth because of its ease, availability and anonymity,” Governor Steve Beshear said. “The owners and operators of these illegal sites prey on Kentucky citizens, including our youth, and deprive the Commonwealth of millions of dollars in revenue. It’s an underworld wrought with scams and schemes.”Naturally the online gambling industry is outraged. The Poker Players Alliance believes the action “not only unduly restricts the freedom of Kentucky residents to play games of skill, such as poker, online, but sets a precedent for censorship of the internet by force.” The alliance also denies the Governor’s allegations that online poker is “illegal, unregulated and without a mechanism to capture tax revenue.”The Alliance suggests that if the Governor is serious about the issues he raises he should “publicly support federal legislation by US House of Representatives Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, H.R. 2460, which would achieve those goals.”News releases on the above are available from:

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