The Kentucky Supreme Court began hearing arguments last month from the state’s attorneys and representatives of 141 internet gambling websites over the state’s seizure of domain names that allowed Kentucky residents to access online gaming.
According to Kentucky, domain names are illegal gambling devices, like slot machines, and if they are operated within the state’s borders, they are subject to seizure. The gambling websites, such as Full Tilt Poker and Ultimate Bet, claim that Kentucky has no law against internet gambling, and as the sites are based offshore, Kentucky has no jurisdiction over them.
The state’s attorney, Eric Lycan, told the court that the state had to seize the domain names because it was the only method of forcing the sites’ owners to step forward.
Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association attorney John Fleischaker said no crime has occurred, and therefore prosecution does not make sense.
“It shows their intellectual dishonesty,” Fleischaker said. “We’ve made no violation of the criminal code whatsoever. They made up a process that is totally lacking in due process.”
The case proceeded to the Supreme Court after the Court of Appeals ruled that the state has no authority over companies based outside the state or country.
A decision in the case may take months.