In America, the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association (iMEGA) has announced that the Court of Appeals for the state of Kentucky has granted a motion it filed the day before for a stay on a forfeiture hearing for 141 online domain names.
The Washington, DC-based Internet trade association stated that the hearing ordered by Judge Thomas Wingate of the Franklin Circuit Court last month was scheduled for December 3. It would have determined whether the southern American state seized the domain names of online gambling sites including AbsolutePoker.com, BodogLife.com, CakePoker.com, DoylesRoom.com, FullTiltPoker.com and PokerStars.com after these had allowed Kentucky residents to gamble.
However, the Court of Appeals ruled that the lower court’s decision be delayed until it had a chance to consider the ruling and has scheduled a hearing to consider iMEGA’s petition for December 12 in Louisville.
“We’re please that the Court of Appeals has given us the opportunity to challenge these seizures,” said Joe Brennan, Chairman for iMEGA.
“The Commonwealth has tried to take these domains for their own financial gain, violating Kentucky law, exceeding their jurisdiction and setting a terrible precedent in the process.”
The Appeals Court also decided to combine iMEGA’s petition with a narrower petition filed by the Interactive Gaming Council (IGC) of Vancouver, Canada, an international online gambling trade group. Both groups contend that the lower Kentucky court lacked jurisdiction to order the domain seizures. In addition, iMEGA’s motion contends that Judge Wingate misapplied the state’s specific ‘gambling devices’ law in order to provide a rationale for permitting the seizures.
iMEGA also argues that Kentucky’s actions violate the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution and that Michael Brown, the state’s Secretary of Justice and Public Safety, lacked the authority to initiate the seizure action.
“This matter has generated concerns across the online world about abuse of governmental power,” said Brennan.