Kentucky’s big gamble

Patrick Gibbons

In an unprecedented and potentially damaging attack on online businesses and interstate commerce, the governor of Kentucky is seeking to seize the names of private Internet domain sites in order to block gambling he says competes with the state.

Governor Steve Beshear (D) ran for office last year on a platform of legalizing casino gambling in the state. He says Internet gambling threatens the profitability of horseracing in Kentucky and also competes with the state lottery.  He also suggested that Internet gambling harms church bingo (I somehow doubt that).

Kentucky is trying to protect its domestic gambling industry from competition. It is also trying to protect the state lottery. States should not be allowed to protect their "prize" industries or their revenue sources by regulating the competition out of existence – let alone by seizing control of their property. This should make for an interesting legal battle in the months ahead.