Judge Thomas Wingate has placed 141 online casinos on notice. Either they block access to Kentucky residents within 30 days or they risk seizure. Sites like Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars, Bodog and Golden Palace are included in the hit list.
The ruling also stated that the online casinos will have to prove that such geographical blocks are operational to the satisfaction of the Kentucky’s Justice and Safety Cabinet or the Court in order to avoid seizure or further proceedings. How the geographical block will be verified is still uncertain. Communications Director for the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, Jennifer Brislin said that the verification will involve more than “Hey, we blocked you” notifications.
Judge Wingate has said the only defense he would be inclined to hear is that the websites that have not blocked access to Kentucky residents are merely advertising on behalf of 3rd party online casino sites. The seizure order will be rescinded for websites that are only providing information. Such websites will have their opportunity to present their cases at the forfeiture hearing which is scheduled for November 17.
Poker Player’s Alliance has filed an amicus brief which argues that poker sites should not be included because poker is a game of skill. John Pappas, executive director of PPA says that Judge Wingate is incorrect when he says that poker is not a game of skill. He says that poker primarily requires skill. Furthermore, he also believes that the ruling degrades both personal rights and internet freedom.