Yesterday the Kentucky’s Supreme Court heard oral arguments concerning the seizure of 141 domain names by the Commonwealth of Kentucky last year.
According to reports the oral arguments lasted for about for 90 minutes from each side.
The ruling from the court is expected in sometime within the next 4 months.
During the hearing one of the justices Lisabeth Abramson questioned whether domain names could be defined as gambling devices since the statute was written before online gambling started and referred to such things as roulette wheels and poker tables.
“Aren’t you just trying to use a 30-year-old statute that talks about tangible property to get to Internet gambling?” The Courier-Journal quoted the judge asking.
Eric Lycan was the attorney for the state of Kentucky., said the gambling device law should be interpreted broadly because the legislature clearly intended to ban casino-style gambling in the state.
Judge Abramson questioned how seizing domain names would stop Kentuckians from gambling on the Internet because the gambling establishment would simply create new domain names.
Judge Abramson asked, “If they just adopt a new domain name under the same (Internet provider) address, then what? Do you start all over?”
Lycan replied: “The commonwealth is well in its rights to do so if (the domain name operators) continue to use that device to violate the law of the commonwealth.”
If the Commonwealth of Kentucky seizes the domain names, it would also prevent the rest of the world from accessing those URLs. Lycan noted, “That’s how Judge Wingate’s order was tailored and it’s only if they refuse to cease operations in Kentucky. It’s only those who continue to defy the Commonwealth that will be forfeited.”
Lycan revealed that the domains would be put up for public auction if they were successfully forfeited.
We reported the other day that Fulltiltpoker.com already received an order from a British court that said they would not enforce any order from the Commonwealth against them, as they are located in England have use a British registrar, safenames.com.
However any of these domains registered with a US based registrar are at risk and their fate maybe determined by the Kentucky Supreme Courts Ruling.
One thing of note from the casinoadvisor site, is the statement of Eric Lycan, the attorney for the state of Kentucky who compared Internet gambling with drug seizures and pornography.
As we warned last year, if the Supreme Court of Kentucky somehow rules to uphold the seizure order don’t be surprised if the same or another US jurisdiction seizes adult domains.