Kentucky Seizes 141 Online Gambling Domains

Proceedings that started in 2008 in Kentucky are now seeing some action again. Judge Thomas Wingate issued an Order of Forfeiture, seizing 141 domain names of online gaming sites that he judged to be in violation of illegal gambling activity according to Kentucky laws.

You can read the notice here: Order of Forfeiture of Domain Defendants

1. This Court takes notice of, and so finds, the fact that no party made any attempt, in accordance with paragraph 3 of the Court’s Opinion and Order dated October 16, 2008, to establish to this Court that it installed any software or device to geographically block or otherwise deny access to their illegal, unregulated internet gambling Websites from users within the territorial boundaries of the Commonwealth.

2. The Court previously heard the evidence presented by the Commonwealth and filled of record herein, and found that probable cause existed to justify the seizure of the Domain Defendants.

3. Seizure of the property in rem constituted notice to any persons who may claim an interest, pursuant to KRS 500.090, in the seized property.

4. No party has appeared with standing to contest the forfeiture or submit evidence to this Court.

5. The Court finds that 110 lawful owner or claimant of any of the Domains Defendants subject to this Order has been identified or is identifiable.

6. The Court finds that the evidence previously submitted by the Commonwealth, standing alone or in consideration of the record as a whole, establishes by a preponderance of the evidence – indeed by overwhelming evidence – that the Domain Defendants are gambling devices – and gambling records used in violation of KRS Chapter 528 and are therefore properly forfeit to the Commonwealth pursuant to KRS 528.100.

7. The Court has considered the amendment to KRS 500.090 and the enactment of KRS 500.092. The court’s previous findings and _conclusions are not affected by these amendments. The Court notes specifically, however, that the legislature did defme in relation to other forfeiture statutes that “device” includes “or other device by which communication or information is transmitted, including computers, the Internet or other electronic network.” The Court finds the language of KRS 500.092 is additional persuasive authority that the legislature defines “device” broadly and intends that it can and does include a domain- name.

8. The Court re-­adopts and incorporates herein the findings of fact, conclusions of law and holdings contained in its September 18, 2008 Order of Seizure Of Domain Names (attached as Exhibit B hereto), its September 18, 2008 Findings of Fact and Conclusion of Law (attached as Exhibit C hereto), and its October 16, 2008 Opinion and Order (attached as Exhibit D hereto).

9. The Domain Defendants identified on Exh’1bitA hereto are hereby forfeited to the Commonwealth of Kentucky pursuant to KRS 528.100. 10. Plaintiff shall cause a copy of this Order to be delivered to both VeriSign and each Domain Defendants’ Registrar. The Commonwealth shall electronically serve this Order upon VeriSign and each Registrar via the procedures set forth in each Registrars Written policies and the written policies of VeriSign and/or ICANN, by overnight courier, or electronic mail delivery. Any of the aforesaid methods shall be sufficient.

11. VeriSign and the respective Registrar shall cause each Domain Defendant to be immediately transferred to the ownership of the Commonwealth and deposited in an account ofthe Plaintiff, Commonwealth of Kentucky, at each Registrar or, if Plaintiff so specifies. to such other Registrar as Plaintiff may designate. The domain names shall be unlocked and otherwise unencumbered for Plaintiffs use, transfer or direction so that disposition by Plaintiff may proceed in accordance with KRS 500.090.

12. The VeriSign and the respective Registrars are specifically ordered to direct each domain to the IP address or addresses as subsequently directed by Plaintiff or its counsel.