Daylife/AP Photo by Ed Reinke

Lawyers representing online gambling interests have told the Kentucky Court of Appeals that Gov. Steve Beshear’s effort to seize domain names is blatantly unconstitutional.

A three-judge panel is weighing Beshear’s unprecedented move to seize the domain names of 141 gambling Web sites.

Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate allowed the Cabinet for Justice and Public Safety to seize the domain names last month. The seizure, at this point, is meaningless because the state cannot control the content of the Web sites until a judge orders the domain names forfeited to the state.

In oral arguments Friday, lawyers representing six domain names, two online gambling trade groups and The Poker Players Alliance said the cabinet ís move is littered with legal and constitutional flaws. They focused on four arguments:

■ Wingate does not have jurisdiction to allow the state to seize domains registered in other countries where gambling is legal.

■ Domain names are not gambling devices.

■ Domain names can only be seized after a criminal conviction. The state has not attempted to criminally prosecute the Web site operators.

■ Kentucky is prohibited by the commerce clause of the U.S Constitution from regulating interstate and international commerce, which the trade groups argue Wingate’s order affectively allows.

I imagine the gambling sites would be perfectly “legal” if they gave the governor a big enough cut.

  1. Macbandit says:

    Here’s another big incentive for the European nations that would like to see ICANN moved overseas.

  2. Paddy-O says:

    # 1 Macbandit said, “Here’s another big incentive for the European nations that would like to see ICANN moved overseas.”

    Actually, the only reason the EU wants control is to be able to impose “speech control”. There is no equivalent of the 1st Amend in EU.

  3. Digby says:

    Is this jerk trying to take the names so the gambling sites are eliminated? If so, then he should next close all the liquor stores in Kentucky, confiscate all the fried chicken shops, grab all the tobacco, and ban the use of fireplaces, all things that are considered “evil” in this screwed up country. What would we do without politicians like this? I would like to find out.

  4. dusanmal says:

    @#3: Law, no matter how outdated does exist… While it does not address any of the items you mention after the site names, problem is that they theoretically could size every single PC in Kentucky as long as those web sites exist (electronic machines that could be used for gambling)…

  5. Digby says:

    #4 And you think this is a GOOD thing? Do you ever see any politicians ELIMINATE a law? No. All they do is ADD laws on top of laws. How long until we all crack?

  6. Special Ed says:

    This is the kind of shit you expect to happen when people’s parents are related to each other. Next, this guy will be going after

  7. Lou says:

    What an idiot !

  8. Geoffrey says:

    I wonder if the governor from Kentucky has a horse in this race.

    Did the governor’s last or next election campain get fed by some casinos who do or want to do business in Kentucky?

  9. gquaglia says:

    Just another clueless politician. Who is electing these fools.

  10. Uncle Patso says:

    Eidard commented:
    ‘I imagine the gambling sites would be perfectly “legal” if they gave the governor a big enough cut.’

    Maybe so, but I doubt they would be willing to pony up what he might consider enough. He ran on a platform of balancing the state budget by introducing casino gambling, saying the “riverboat” casinos in Indiana (just across the Ohio River) were draining money and tax revenue from Kentucky’s coffers. So far he hasn’t been able to convince the legislature, though. The horse racing industry here is torn between wanting to offer more types of gambling at the track (especially slots) and the fear of losing business to full-on casinos. Figures indicate the casinos in Indiana did have a negative effect on the racetracks’ take.

    In a way, he has already been partially successful, since several of the sites involved have stopped accepting players from Kentucky, where Internet gambling is illegal.

    And, believe me, no matter how wrong-headed this particular move may seem, this gov is a BIG improvement over the last guy, whose whole mission in life seemed to be to enrich his pals in the coal mining and road building businesses.

  11. The State's Next Big Gamble says:

    Since when is it news for States to do things that are unconstitutional like random DUI stops, searches, and targeted confiscation of intangibles?

  12. Mr. Fusion says:


    Just another clueless politician. Who is electing these fools.

    A bunch of right wing nuts. Why do you ask?


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