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Kentucky Courts Uphold Online Gambling Website Ban
State Ruling Seeks to Block Online Gambling Website Access to Kentucky
Residents - Poker and online casino Ban court order in the state of Kentucky

There have been some new and interesting developments with the state of Kentucky
banning online gambling to their residents. In case you have not heard of this new state
strategy, the state of Kentucky courts have ruled that online wagering poker room and
casinos must block access to residents of their state by November 17th or the state will
confiscate their website url. Many of the biggest online gambling URLs in the world were
targeted by the state for forfeiture. These URLs include fulltiltpoker.com, pokerstars.com,
ultimatebet.com and doylesroom.com.

Here is what the judge ordered in regards to the 141 Online Gambling Domain Names on
the states list for confiscation:

The defendants will have 30 days (from October 16th, 2008) to install geographic blocks
that prevent access by the residents of Kentucky. They will then have to prove to the Court
that the blocks are "operational" and working properly by blocking full access to these
websites. Once the Court has been satisfied that residents of Kentucky can no longer
access the site, the URL will be "relieved" from the effects of the Seizure Order. Kentucky will
then serve written notice to the domain name registrar of the URL that has gained
compliance that the Seizure Order has been withdrawn. The final hearing for the forfeiture is
set for November 17th, 2008.

Most of the websites that own domains listed in the Seizure Order have indicated that they
are going to ignore the court ruling. Pokerstars.com, for instance, have their domain with a
foreign registrar and their registrar publicly stated that they are going to ignore the ruling.
They insist that the state of zZkentucky has no legal jurisdiction over them.

Other online wagering websites have their domains with registrars such as Godaddy.com
who has indicated that they will comply with the Court's ruling. Sites such as Ultimatebet.com
and Doylesroom.com will be seized on November 17th unless those two companies can
show that they have indeed been able to successfully blocked the residents of the state of
Kentucky.

It is unknown what actions website hosts such as Network Solutions will take at this point.
They have not given an idication of their actions as of yet. This all sounds simple, all these
websites have to do is to demonstrate to the court that they have blocked access to
residents of Kentucky and go on their way with regular business as usual. The problem
arises with the owners of the domains who will have to establish to the court, somehow, that
they have blocked all access to residents of the state of Kentucky. Most of these website
owners do not step foot within the United States for fear of being arrested under the current
online wagering legislation, so this is definitely going to be a problem for most online wgering
companies. Furthermore, many other states will probably try to do the same now that the
ruling was upheld.

The news of this ruling will spread throughout the mainstream media because it is an issue
that will possibly end up influencing many different online and land based industries. Some
of the companies involved (Pokerstars, Full Tilt Poker) will simply ignore the Kentucky
court's ruling. Some of the companies will be forced to set up alternative domain names (with
foreign registrars) and redirect traffic to the new domains. By redirecting a URL, the original
domain is hidden within a new URL. How will these company executives or lawyers be able to
show up in court to prove that they have blocked the residents of Kentucky from accessing
their domain without facing immediate arrest in the first place?

This is a major development and is a disappointing ruling for the online poker community,
but I am sure that the legal documents are already being written up to appeal this decision.
The problem is that the appeal process takes a lot of time. So, in the meantime, the
residents of Kentucky can no longer play at most online poker rooms or online casinos.

Once again the judge stated that this measure is necessary to protect the residents of their
state. They further state that online poker is strictly a game of luck, and that the hand you
have is the only determining factor in whether you win or lose. Now any serious poker player
knows that this simply is not true. It amazes me that the state feels the need to protect its
citizens from these websites, yet an exemption allows for state run horse racing and lotteries
to continue online. It seems that as long as the state has an economic interest in the
wagering, it is fine for their citizens to wager online.

I can see this online poker ban spreading quickly through the states now. Many states have
been trying to figure a way to ban these online wagering websites for many years. The
implications of this current ruling are enormous and will be felt throughout the online poker
community. I will keep you posted to any new developments in this court ruling.

What do you think about this court ruling banning Kentucky residents from online
wagering? Do you think the ban is a good idea? Please
share your thoughts and ideas
concerning this new law and we will
let our readers know what you think. Please fill out
the form below to leave a comment. I will review these comments and post all relevant
responses.
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