03/22/2012 : KENTUCKY INTERNET GAMBLING DOMAINS CONFISCATED
With an appeal still under consideration, Judge Wingate moves again
Kentucky judge Thomas Wingate, who earned some notoriety almost four years ago when he claimed jurisdiction and seized 141 internet gambling domains, has now issued a forfeiture order on 132 of those assets.
Missing from the judge's current hit list are Full Tilt Poker.com, PokerStars.com, Absolute Poker.com and UltimateBet.com, Doyles Room.com, True Poker.com, Bookmaker.com and Bodoglife.com, all of which are involved in US enforcement actions, and Microgaming.com.
The online poker information site Diamond Flush Poker picked up the latest developments, which apparently took place on March 8 this year.
Judge Wingate issued a 12 point judgement which can be found here: http://diamondflushpoker.com/2012/03/kentucky-judge-issues-forfeiture-order-for-132-domain-names/#more-2775
Among his points, Wingate notes that: "The Court finds as fact that no party made any attempt to prove to the court that they installed and implemented software or devices to geographically block users from inside the Commonwealth of Kentucky from their “illegal, unregulated internet gambling websites”, and "No party has appeared with standing to contest the forfeiture or submit evidence."
He also claims that "…no lawful owner or claimant of the domain defendants has been identified or is identifiable," and that "…evidence presented by the Commonwealth does establish by a preponderance of the evidence, “indeed by overwhelming evidence”, that the domain defendants are gambling devices and gambling records in violation of Kentucky statutes and therefore can be forfeited."
The state of Kentucky is now required to serve to both VeriSign and each domain registrar a copy of Judge Wingate's order. These domain registrars are ordered to "…. immediately transfer ownership of each domain defendant to the Commonwealth of Kentucky" in unlocked and unencumbered condition for Kentucky state's use, transfer or direction.
Diamond Flush Poker points out that there has been a pending appeal filed with the Kentucky Court of Appeals since November 2011, with appellate briefs due on April 24, 2012.