Poker Case to be heard in the Kentucky Supreme Court

 | October 20, 2009


On Thursday arguments will be held in the Supreme Court over one of the most prominent poker cases to date. It involves the battle between the Kentucky Governor Steven Beshear and the Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association (IMEGA). The contention arose when the Governor controversially moved to seize 141 domain names of online gambling sites. This included leading sites such as, Full Tilt, DoylesRoom, Bodog and UltimateBet.

The IMEGA were quick to stand up for the rights of poker players despite the set-back last year, where a circuit court judge sided with Gov. BeshearÂ's decision. This was based on the interpretation that gambling online was illegal and therefore seizure was justified. The IMEGA countered with the argument that poker is legal and therefore the action taken was unlawful.

Whilst not going as far as commenting specifically on the legality of online poker the Kentucky court of Appeals did in January of this year overturn the previous decision by a 2-1 vote. It stated, Â"Regardless of our view as to the advisability of regulating or criminalizing Internet gambling sites, the General Assembly has not seen fit to amend (state law) so as to bring domain names within the definition of gambling devices.Â"

The Kentucky Supreme Court will now hear the oral cases of the Commonwealth of Kentucky v. IMEGA debate later this week. If the court eventually finds in favour of the online sites the ruling will add to the groundswell of legal victories the game of poker is enjoying in the US at the moment. Last week a judge in South Carolina quashed the sentences of five people convicted of running illegal poker games.


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