Kentucky Gambling Domains

Last month, a seizure and forfeiture order for 141 domains used to promote, conduct or advance illegal gambling was announced by the state of Kentucky. The list of 141 domains contained popular gambling sites including: fulltiltpoker.com, indiancasino.com, bet21.com, allslots.com, bodoglife.com, bookmaker.com, sportsbook.com, sportsbetting.com, superslots.com, pokerstars.com, doylesroom.com and goldenpalace.com.

Recently the State of Kentucky issued its opinion and order stating that because these domains are viewed as gambling devices they are subject to seizure and that because these domains have a “presence in Kentucky the court has jurisdiction over them.

Domain owners will have 30 days to block website access to Kentucky residents. If they do not comply the case will proceed and these domains could potentially face permanent shut-down.

So what does this all mean?

á Does Kentucky have the jurisdiction to seize these domain names?

á What are the national and international ramifications should Kentucky succeed in this seizure order?

á What threat does this action pose to the future of Internet freedom and technological innovation?

Answers to these questions remain to be seen.

Clearly however the outcome of this case has the potential to fundamentally impact the way in which domain owners register and manage their portfolios. Moreover this case has the potential to change the way in which Internet is policed today.