Kentucky censor online gambling within state walls

23 September 2008

Last week, a Franklin County Circuit judge took the unusual step of ordering the transfer of 141 gambling related, internet domain names. This was part of an attempt to prevent illegal and non regulated online gambling within the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Kentucky will go down on record as being the first US state to bring such actions against a gambling operator resulting in a mass domain seizure.

The order was served on Thursday. It was a direct result of a law suit filed by the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet acting on behalf of the Commonwealth, whose aim is to prevent online gambling access to Kentucky users. If only they would pull their resources together to block true evils such as rooting out pornography rings and other unsavory sites, instead of concentrating on enforcing their communist views. This has come after the UIGEA. This law was introduced to restrict citizens of the USA from gambling online. The US government has taken many measures to remove the freedoms once enjoyed by many US residents.

I understand in certain cases, people have to be protected from themselves but online gambling is a personal choice, and affects people on an individual basis. It’s seen as an acceptable pastime for most worldwide countries. The US have unusual gun laws. They allow the sales of guns to bordering schizophrenics. Guns, if in the wrong hands, take away the freedom and lives of others. What is different about gambling online is that it takes away personal choice. Not the removal of choice to gamble, this can be done on state taxed land based sites, but the removal of choice where to spend their hard earned cash, the removal of choice on what they can and cannot access online.

The forfeiture hearing was set for 25th September by Judge Thomas Wingate, who may or may not be gun totting his way to court, after an unsavory internet browse.

The Justice Cabinet requested the court to order the domain transfers in the name of the Commonwealth. The court order will be sent to Internet registrars. The order will be put in motion pending a hearing on whether a forfeiture order is required.

Governor Steve Beshear said:

“Unlicensed, unregulated, illegal Internet gambling poses a tremendous threat to the citizens of the Commonwealth because of its ease, availability and anonymity. The owners and operators of these illegal sites prey on Kentucky citizens, including our youth, and deprive the Commonwealth of millions of dollars in revenue. It’s an underworld wrought with scams and schemes.”

US citizens have become accustomed to iron curtain restrictions, rivaled by the likes of China and Cuba. By claiming the rights of the domain names, Kentucky can put them in the position to insist online casino operators use advanced technology to block all access to their sites, accessed within the commonwealth of Kentucky.

To back the stance, Beshear said residents of Kentucky lose well over $10million to online gambling. He made no comment on lives lost due to loose gun laws, be is socially or medically. He backed his argument by claiming the resultant illegal activity had repercussions over and above the financial cost seen by the commonwealth.

Unlicensed Internet gambling competes directly with Kentucky’s thriving Horseracing Industry. Although horseracing is a form of gambling, it is taxed and regulated within the state. Kentucky wants to block outside competition even if it restricts the lives of many of their citizens. Not everyone is able bodied, not everyone can travel to the Kentucky racecourses, but that does not matter to those in power. They want to full control of their citizens lives, by doing so; they can collect their only motivational target, their peoples tax money.

Online betting prices are generally better. Forward thinking individuals believe that the internet is the future.

Believe it or not Kentucky? The internet era is already upon us. The entire world is sorry for moving with the times but Kentucky, and the US, for that matter should adapt or go back to writing sport books in hieroglyphs, on caves.

The world understands you view that the secretive and unregulated nature of online gambling can be abused, allowing underage patrons to login and bet online. Yes, we agree, this is unacceptable. What you are doing is restricting everyone. You do it under the guise of morals, but we know the real truth is that you want to restrict the liberties of your citizens, to protect your Kentucky racecourses from outside competition.

Yes, we understand that special sophisticated encryption devices can make it extremely difficult to track down online money laundering organizations, that unregulated online gaming can lead to a lack of safety to the consumer.

We also understand that you are forcing online gambling deeper below the surface. Since the introduction of the UIGEA, the self regulatory safety net, once enjoyed by Americans, is rapidly eroding away.

For a long time, Kentucky law has enforced a strong policy prohibiting unlicensed, illegal, and unregulated gambling operations. This is in place to protect government owned gambling institutions, which are top tourist attractions. Beshear also said that the Commonwealth had the experience and capabilities to bring action against illegal online gambling operators.

In chapter 528 of the KRS, there are specific mandates in place to forfeit any gambling devices. These mandates include domain names and websites, making it illegal to own, promote, advertize, conduct, or to profit/conspire to profit from any illegal gambling operation.

Secretary J. Michael Brown claimed that all site owners, when registering their domain names, agreed to terms which insist that they cannot use their domain names for any illegal operations. He went on to say that there were already online gambling operations in existence, who respected their laws enough to block Kentucky users.

He said:

“Gov. Beshear has once again demonstrated that he is willing to take bold and innovative steps to protect Kentuckians and Kentucky’s legitimate businesses. Illegal Internet gambling poses a unique threat to our Commonwealth. For individuals – particularly our youth – it is tantamount to a virtual home invasion. For some of our vital and most venerable legitimate enterprises, it undermines their exemplary regulatory compliance and siphons away their constituents. We are hopeful that once this litigation is concluded, the Commonwealth will be off limits to these illegal purveyors.”

If you want to learn the definition of an era, all you need to do is follow up the artists, activists and authors who went against it. This new era will include webmasters and online gambling writers, banks and other online financial providers.

Censorship is probably as old as civilization. Suppression is a form of control and this new ruling is just another part in American history, to restrict the freedoms of its citizens. The need to burn books is not so prevalent, nowadays the interference of internet connection is enough.

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