In the US, the Franklin County Circuit Court in the southern state of Kentucky has issued an order of seizure against 141 Internet domain names including AbsolutePoker.com, BodogLife.com, CakePoker.com, DoylesRoom.com, FullTiltPoker.com and PokerStars.com.
The order has been served on registrar companies in the US and around the world in accordance with procedures set out by California’s Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which oversees the assignment of domain names.
Michael Brown, Secretary of Justice and Public Safety, brought the civil action on behalf of the Commonwealth of Kentucky with the backing of Democrat Governor Steve Beshear seeking the seizure and forfeiture of domain names used to promote or provide illegal gambling within the state.
The Court found that probable cause did exist to believe that the names in question were being used in connection with illegal gambling within the Commonwealth of Kentucky and determined sufficient basis for seizure. As a result, the body ordered the current registrars to transfer the domains to the account of the plaintiff.
“Unlicensed, unregulated, illegal Internet gambling poses a tremendous threat to the citizens of the Commonwealth because of its ease, availability and anonymity,' said Democrat Kentucky Governor, Steve Beshear.
'The owners and operators of these illegal sites prey on Kentucky citizens, including our youth, and deprive the Commonwealth of millions of dollars in revenues. It is an underworld wrought with scams and schemes.'
Although Brown revealed that some of the sites had stopped Kentucky-based Internet users from gaining access and admitted that the loss of the domain names would shut down operations worldwide, he stated that his first duty was to the citizens of his state. The ruling could have a major impact on Internet commerce if individual American states are permitted to pass laws against specific activities not banned in other parts of the world.