August 10th, 2013
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Kentucky Hearing Postponed Once again
Associated Subjects: controversy, domains, Legal problems
Further prolonging a definitive ruling, the Kentucky state Court of Appeals has issued a stay on a forfeiture hearing for 141 on-line domain names due to a petition led by Washington, DC-based Web trade association Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association (www.imega.org).
The court has ruled for a lot more time to make a potentially groundbreaking selection with regards to dispute which started in September when Kentucky Governor Stephen Beshear and Secretary of Justice and Public Safety Michael J. Brown had sought the seizure of the domain names linked to World wide web gambling. Originally scheduled to be resolved on November 17, the hearing was pushed back to December 3, and has now been delayed until December 12 when both side will present oral arguments before the Court of Appeals.
“Since the decrease court elected to ignore Kentucky law, and as an alternative reached back to a law the present 1 supplanted to locate a rationale justifying these seizures, we have no option but to go to the Court of Appeals.” iMEGA chairman and CEO Joe Brennan Jr. mentioned in a statement.
iMEGA’s legal team, which has doggedly fought to shield the 141 domains, filed its response brief with the US 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals last week, difficult the constitutionality of the Unlawful Net Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. Specifically, that it misapplied Kentucky’s “gambling hearing protection devices” law in order to offer a rationale for enabling the seizures. It also argues that the state’s violated the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution, and that Secretary Brown lacked the authority to initiate the seizure in the initial location.
The appeals court decided to combine iMEGA’s petition with a petition filed by Vancouver-primarily based Interactive Gaming Council, which also argues that the reduced court lacked jurisdiction to order the domain seizures.
Whilst Gov. Beshear has argued that taking down these sites protects citizens from gambling, nonetheless, the organization stated that the state’s motivation was to shield the state’s personal gambling market from competition from on-line gambling internet sites. “The commonwealth has attempted to take these domains for their own monetary gain, violating Kentucky law, exceeding their jurisdiction, and setting a terrible precedent in the procedure,” Brennan stated.
“This matter has generated concerns across the online planet about abuse of governmental energy,” stated Brennan. “Kentucky is opening the door for any government – state and nearby, foreign and domestic – to use what amounts to blackmail to accomplish its ends. If this precedent is allowed to stand, it’s not difficult to picture a government like China utilizing this sort of seizure energy to avert cost-free media, like the New York Times, from reaching their citizens.”
As Brennan notes, Kentucky could set a precedent that could let authorities tell registrars to properly shutdown online gambling web sites, which are mostly hearing protection hosted overseas. This has also led to fears that letting the state shut down gambling internet sites will lead to the seizure of other sites.
The Net Commerce Association denounced the Kentucky governor’s actions in a public statement. “The Internet Commerce Association is really disappointed in the choice issued by the Court this afternoon,” wrote ICA president Jeremiah Johnston. “This is a dangerous choice not just for domain name investors and developers but for all who value commerce and free speech on the World wide web.”
The Poker Players Alliance is also officially opposed to Kentucky’s on-line gambling regulation methods, suggesting options such as tighter regulation, taxation approaches and a lot more customer protection for World wide web gamblers. It does, nonetheless, help government involvement, endorsing the US Property of Representatives Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank’s HR 2460 legislation that would particularly accomplish regulatory objectives of which it is in favor.
While the lawsuit has garnered powerful opposition from the online community, Gov. Beshear stands by Judge Wingate, who initially ruled over the seizure, saying online gambling “leeches on our communities,” however, he maintains that state-condoned gambling at casinos and horse races should remain legal.
Earlier this week, in a equivalent effort to indirectly cease on the internet gambling on American soil, the US Republican government was met by comparable hostility when it issued suggestions aimed at banning World wide web gambling by stopping money transactions at the bank level.
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