I remember hearing about the Internet gambling case down in Kentucky several days ago and immediately dismissing it as an attempt by Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear to get his name in the papers (see the first post here). After all, how could a small state such as Kentucky have the power to take away some of the biggest gambling and poker site domain names? What reason could they possibly come up with to justify themselves – out of all of the other 50 states in the US – being able to take away property from these global companies?
And just think, places such as Doyle’s Room service many different nationalities and many different countries yet Kentucky thinks that they have some divine right to cripple these businesses just because the government doesn’t like its residents gambling online. Unfortunately, we live in a world that allows crooked governors to align with crooked judges to keep these circuses going. This was revealed after Kentucky Judge Thomas Wingate ruled in favor of allowing this case to go to trial.
Never mind the fact that the only reason Steve Beshear is doing this is so that Kentucky’s long tradition of reaping money from tourists, as well as its own residents, through horse race betting can continue (this was actually one of Beshear’s platforms for getting elected). Now how stupid is this? Beshear wants to stop online gambling in his state, yet boost the gambling activities of his own state even more.
It’s sad to see that this case is even going to trial and also that a state government has the power to perform an injustice such as this. Plus the power this wields to the government is also a scary thought and this was summed up nicely by the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association when they stated, “Should the actions of Kentucky’s chief executive stand, the harm to Internet freedom would be immense. What a powerful weapon would be placed in the hands of government: to arbitrarily seize politically, religiously, or culturally-based Internet domains that may run contrary to the views of those in power.”
Let’s hope that even more unthinkable things don’t arise from this case.