Forfeiture order issued for seized domains
A report arrived this week that Kentucky Judge Thomas Wingate, who is known for claiming jurisdiction and seizing 141 internet gambling domains some four years ago, has issued a forfeiture order on 132 of those assets, not including Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, Absolute Poker and UltimateBet, Doylesroom, True Poker, Bookmaker and Bodoglife, all of which are involved in US enforcement actions, and Microgaming.
In his 12-point order, Wingate stated: "The Court finds as fact that no party made any attempt to prove to the court that they installed and implemented software or devices to geographically block users from inside the Commonwealth of Kentucky from their illegal, unregulated internet gambling websites. No party has appeared with standing to contest the forfeiture or submit evidence."
He also added that "...no lawful owner or claimant of the domain defendants has been identified or is identifiable," and that "...evidence presented by the Commonwealth does establish by a preponderance of the evidence, indeed by overwhelming evidence, that the domain defendants are gambling devices and gambling records in violation of Kentucky statutes and therefore can be forfeited."
A copy of the order should now be provided by the state of Kentucky to both VeriSign and each domain registrar, all of which are ordered to ".... immediately transfer ownership of each domain defendant to the Commonwealth of Kentucky" in unlocked and unencumbered condition for Kentucky state's use, transfer or direction.
There has been a pending appeal filed with the Kentucky Court of Appeals since November 2011, with appellate briefs due on April 24, 2012.