Frank’s UIGEA Repeal is Ready to Roll

February 23, 2009

US Democrat Barney Frank

In an update to an ealier news item regarding Barney Frank’s plans to appeal the UIGEA ruling this morning’s edition of the eGaming Review snapshot revealed some further information regarding the Bill as well as its relase date which is now slated for as early as next month.

Barney Frank’s bill to repeal the UIGEA could be reintroduced as early as March, a congressional aide for the chair of the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee told Reuters.

Sources familiar with the EU’s formal investigation into whether Washington was singling out EU companies for enforcement actions while allowing US online firms to operate freely also told the news organisation they expect the report to recommend action at the World Trade Organization when it is released next month.

However, rather than move immediately to litigation, it’s thought EU officials will use the report as leverage to seek a negotiated solution with the US.

Major Victory for Online Poker Players

February 19, 2009

Executive Director of the Poker Players Alliance, John Pappas, was very happy when he stated, "This is a tremendous victory for Internet freedom and the rights of Kentucky residents who enjoy playing online poker." This comes after it was announced that The Court of Appeals for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Franklin Circuit Court Division II overturned an earlier seizure of 141 domain names.

The PPA has an estimated 130000 player residents in Kentucky. The Poker Players Alliance was a big part of bringing in a positive decision. The other groups included online gambling interests such as sportsbook.com, sportsinteraction.com, mysportsbook.com, sbglobal.com, carmenmedia.com and hundreds of others collectively.

John Pappas adds, "We are pleased that the appeals court has forcefully reversed Judge Wingate’s earlier ruling and confirmed many of the arguments that have been raised in opposition to the seizure effort. The Court of Appeals has agreed with the PPA’s position that Judge Wingate did not have jurisdiction to issue the order that he entered against these domains and that Secretary Brown has no legitimate right to deprive the citizens of Kentucky of the legal right to play poker online."

Rich Muny, Kentucky State Director for the PPA, said, "This common-sense approach would benefit Kentucky’s poker enthusiasts and the revenue will benefit the state as a whole. Rather than spending hard to find dollars on this case, the Governor could actually turn this into a much needed new revenue stream for the Commonwealth."

This is a massive decision for the world of online poker. Domain names are not a ‘gambling device’ the court has ruled and therefore are not subject to seizure or forfeiture. Internet freedom was in question in this case, so this outcome was an important one.

Source: swiss-press.com

Barney Frank launches UIGEA roll back offensive

February 4, 2009

US Democrat Barney Frank

According to the eGaming Morning Snapshot of 4 February, US Democrat Barney Frank is launching an offensive to roll back legislation against online gambling passed under the Bush administration, reports the Financial Times.

The chairman of the House financial services committee will reintroduce a bill in the next few weeks to establish a licensing and regulatory framework for online gambling operators.

Frank said the prospects for his bill, discussed in the last session of Congress but not voted on, were greater than before because public opinion was now demanding the right to gamble online. Frank also said he expected UIGEA regulations making it illegal for financial institutions to process online gambling transactions, finalised during the final days of the Bush administration, to be among the measures Congress will look to rescind.

Beshear to Appeal Kentucky Domain Seizure Ruling

January 26, 2009

Beshear seeking reversal of Kentucky gambling domain name seizure ruling

According to the eGaming Review morning snapshot Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is to appeal last week’s decision by the Kentucky Court of Appeal to block the state from seizing up to 141 internet domain names belonging to online gaming companies.

Joe Brennan of the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association (iMEGA), which filed last week’s successful appeal on behalf of the industry, said he was not surprised by the news that Beshear and Secretary J Michael Brown were to counter appeal.

"They both invested a lot of political capital in this suit. They likely feel they can’t back down," said Brennan.

"Their attorneys took this on a contingency fee-basis, and have reportedly sunk over a million dollars of their own money in this suit, and other suits like this that they reportedly prepared for other states. Without a win in Kentucky, it will be hard to get those other suits off the ground, and they’ll have taken huge losses on their own gamble," he added.

Kentucky’s Secretly Obtained Gambling Domain Seizure Order Continues

September 26, 2008

Kentucky Internet Gambling Domains, 22% Already Lost or Changed Name

Thursday’s planned forfeiture hearing before the Franklin Circuit Court has been postponed until 3.30 pm today, Friday 26th September. No reason was given for the delay. The hearing is set to decide whether Kentucky can seize 141 online gambling related domain names, however as of this morning, 22% or 31 of the 141 domains have either undergone a name change or have been seized.

These figures confirm that not only is the seizure of the domain names possible, but also increasingly probable, meaning that some of the larger names stand to lose the millions of dollars which they have invested in brand building.

 The relative speed and ease with which Kentucky has pursued this matter will also serve to deter US facing operators from investing further in any current or future brands which could meet the same fate.

In Europe the news has been quietly welcomed by some of the larger operators who have complained of an un-level playing field. Most European licensed operators, particularly the public listed ones, were forced to exit the US market following passage of the UIGEA in order to protect shareholders interests.

For more background information on the issues at hand, you can view the Court Order of Domain Seizure by Commonwealth of Kentucky or read the press release (new window) and listen to Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear’s statement. For the latest news and developments check in here, here, or here, as well as the ICA’s take on the developments here. If you also think that this is out of order, you can help stop the move to censorship in Kentucky here.

Source: GamingIntelligenceGroup.com

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