Tokwiro Enterprises's sister online poker sites, Absolute Poker.com and UltimateBet.com, have banned Kentucky residents with immediate effect, joining other online poker networks like Cake Poker, Merge Poker and Microgaming Poker in excluding residents of the state. Emails to Kentucky-resident players on the Cereus poker network where UB and AP action takes place read "“We regret to inform you that, effective immediately, AbsolutePoker.com/UltimateBet.com is no longer available to Kentucky residents. This means that you will not be able to access our website and software from within the state boundaries of Kentucky.”
Players were directed to a link in order to access the Support and Cashier services of the two sites.
Kentucky players have not been entirely deserted, however – the Poker Stars, Full Tilt and Bodog poker companies are still open to them.
The blocking decision by Tokwiro is almost certainly motivated by the current domains confiscation dispute in Kentucky courts. In October Kentucky's Governor Steve Beshear commissioned outsourced lawyers in Chicago to initiate litigation that sought to first seize and then confiscate the international domains of some 141 websites involved in online gambling or the promotion thereof. The governor has admitted that his initiative was prompted by a need to protect the tax-paying Kentucky horse racing business.
The unprecedented action, which was initially approved by Kentucky county judge Thomas Wingate, unleashed a storm of domain owner and Net Neutrality protests and legal actions which continues to develop. Wingate has ruled that online gambling companies that can show they have blocked Kentucky residents will be relieved of the threat of confiscation, but the case has been stayed and is on appeal, with a hearing by three Kentucky Court of Appeals judges scheduled for December 12
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