Appeals Court Rules In Domain Name Case

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

An appellate court says Kentucky may not confiscate the domain names of 141 Internet gambling sites.

Governor Steve Beshear says some Internet gambling sites are siphoning millions of badly needed dollars from the commonwealth. He says sites that allow Kentuckians access are operating illegally because they’re not regulated by the state, they pay no taxes in Kentucky and provide no jobs.

So, the administration sued to confiscate the domain names of 141 of the gambling sites.

Last fall, Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate gave the lawsuit a green light and prepared to hold a forfeiture hearing.

But after hearing oral arguments in Louisville last month, a three-judge panel of the Kentucky Court of Appeals is prohibiting Wingate from enforcing the seizure order. In the 2-1 decision, with Judge Michael Caperton dissenting, the appellate court says domain names are not gambling devices as defined by Kentucky law.