Home / Blogs

Kentucky Governor: All Your Gambling Sites Belong to Us

John Levine

According to news reports, the governor of Kentucky has filed a suit in state court to seize 141 gambling domain names. His claimed authority is a 1974 law against "gambling devices", on the theory that a domain is a "device", and online gambling is taking money away from in-state horse racing and the lottery. The judge sensibly has said that he doesn't understand all the issues, and has given all sides a week to submit briefs. Two domains, highrollerslounge.com and luckypyramidcasino.com have been reassigned to the state, probably by a registrar who didn't understand the issues either.

I have to say that this is a phenomenally bogus case.

Few of the domains have been identified, but it'd be amazing if any of them had any presence in Kentucky. The registry for .COM, the likely parent domain of most of the sites, is physically located at VeriSign in Virginia, operated under contract to ICANN which is in California, registered through registrars which are all over the world. The actual gambling sites tend to be either in East Asia or small islands in the Caribbean. There are indeed Federal laws against online gambling, but if Kentucky were using them, they'd have filed a different suit in a Federal court. Adding to the confusion, a lot of the sites offer poker which the operators claim is a game of skill, not chance, and hence it's not gambling, a theory good enough to enable poker parlors all over the state of California, and since few sites offer pure gambling, there are First Amendment issues for the non-gambling bits.

This suit will doubtless be thrown out, but I'll be interested to see if it adds any interesting case law to the sparse set concerning what courts have jurisdiction over what domains.

By John Levine, Author, Consultant & Speaker. More blog posts from John Levine can also be read here.

Related topics: Domain Names, ICANN, Law

 
   
WEEKLY WRAP — Get CircleID's Weekly Summary Report by Email:

Comments

To post comments, please login or create an account.

Related Blogs

Related News

Explore Topics

Industry Updates – Sponsored Posts

2016 U.S. Election: An Internet Forecast

Afilias Chairman Jonathan Robinson Wins ICANN's 2016 Leadership Award at ICANN 57

MarkMonitor Supports Brand Holders' Efforts Regarding .Feedback Registry

8 Tips to Find Your Perfect .COM Domain Name

Why .com is the Venture Capital Community's Power Player

Radix Launches Startup League at TechCrunch

Celebrating One Year of .online

LogicBoxes Launches the New Elite Reseller Program

Effective Strategies to Build Your Reseller Channel (Webinar)

Facilitating a Trusted Web Space for Financial Service Professionals

.STORE Grosses Over $1 Million Before the Close of Day 1

News.Markets: A Rising Star in the World of Financial Trading and New TLDs

Verisign Announces .コム Domain Names Are Now Available for Anyone to Register

NBA & NFL Teams Drive .store Sunrise Score to 647

New TLD .STORE Crosses 500+ Sunrise Applications

Meet Boston Ivy, Home to Some of the Most Specialized TLDs in the Financial Services Sector

Move Beyond Defensive Domain Name Registrations, Towards Strategic Thinking

Verisign Launches New gTLDs for the Korean Market, .닷컴 and .닷넷

Verisign Opens Landrush Program Period for .コム Domain Names

Domain Management Handbook from MarkMonitor

Sponsored Topics

Port25

Email

Sponsored by
Port25
Afilias

DNS Security

Sponsored by
Afilias
Verisign

Security

Sponsored by
Verisign
Afilias - Mobile & Web Services

Mobile

Sponsored by
Afilias - Mobile & Web Services