An appeals court has ruled that a trade association can represent the owners of 132 domains Kentucky is trying to seize to prevent illegal online gambling in the state.
The ruling puts the seizure on hold and returns the case to a lower court for more hearings.
The ruling by the Kentucky Court of Appeals allows the Interactive Gaming Council to represent the domain owners and allows the individual owners names to remain undisclosed. This is the first time a court has permitted an association to represent its members in such a manner.
“Obviously, we consider this a win,” said Interactive Gaming Council CEO Keith Furlong. “We are also proud to be a catalyst for this decision which provides guidance to all associations seeking to represent their members in the commonwealth of Kentucky.”
Judge Allison Jones, writing for a unanimous three-judge panel, said that Kentucky has treated the domain names as a group throughout the seizure litigation, but then changed to handle the names individually to keep the council out of the case.
“The commonwealth cannot now turn the tables and ask the court to require each domain name owner to come forward individually and assert virtually identical legal arguments through separate counsel to resolve threshold, purely legal issues that affect the validity of the entire forfeiture procedure,” Jones wrote.