Wednesday, Sep 24, 2008 Kentucky to Take Over 141 Poker Sites
Democrat governor Steve Beshear wants the local government to take over internet domains like PokerStars.com, FullTiltPoker.com and MicroGaming.com to protect Kentuckians from gambling.
The following poker related sites are on the Kentucky wish list:
The driving force behind this unusual attempt is a will to shut down illegal internet gambling in Kentucky. As governor Beshear said at a news conference:
"Illegal and unregulated gambling Web sites - many of which operate from other countries - are leeches on our communities and unfairly undermine Kentucky's horse-racing industry."
"By seizing those Internet names, the state can require the casino operators to block their sites from being accessed in Kentucky."
"Kentuckians likely spend tens of millions of dollars on illegal internet gambling sites each year - money that might otherwise go to Kentucky's horse tracks, charitable events and the state lottery."
First sites already in Kentucky control
According to other news sites, the commonwealth of Kentucky has already taken control of its first online gambling domains. LuckyPyramidCasino.com and HighRollersLounge.com are now in the control of a Commonwealth of Kentucky Justice Cabinet member, and the sites are no longer available.
Of course, the Poker Players' Alliance doesn't look mildly at this attack on poker. Director John Pappas, representing more than a million American members and about 13,000 in Kentucky, was outraged:
"This action not only unduly restricts the freedom of Kentucky residents to play games of skill online, such as poker, but sets a precedent for censorship of the internet by force."
Poker Players Alliance does not agree
"Many of Governor Beshear's arguments - that online poker is illegal, unregulated and without a mechanism to capture tax revenue - are false. Online poker is not illegal under Kentucky law, it is regulated in its home jurisdiction and the Commonwealth of Kentucky chose not to license and regulate poker websites.
"Poker is a game of skill, a true American pastime and has a proud heritage in Kentucky. Simply because the game has evolved into the 21st Century, it should not be treated as suspect activity. Forcefully and secretly seizing control of websites that offer online poker games is not a sound public policy or a sound legal solution," said Pappas.
Meanwhile, the Poker Junkie Team plans a seizure of Kentucky - in an effort to get away from or love of poker.