Minnesota Backs Down On Online Gambling Blacklist

diceSettling a lawsuit brought by a gaming association, the state of Minnesota has backed down from its request that Internet service providers block residents from accessing online gambling sites.

The Minnesota official who originally made the request now says the better course is to work with governmental authorities to craft policies rather than to ask Internet service providers to enforce a blacklist. "I believe it may be more appropriate to resolve this problem by working to create clear and effective governmental policies concerning regulation of gambling," John Willems, director of the Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement division of Minnesota's public safety department, said in a letter to 11 Internet service providers.

That letter rescinds Willems' previous request, made in April, that Internet service providers block state residents from accessing around 200 gambling-related Web sites. Shortly after Willems asked the networks to block the sites, the Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association filed a lawsuit, alleging that the request was unconstitutional. Among other reasons, the association argued that the request violated the free speech rights of the Web sites as well as state residents because some of the sites on the blacklist contain lawful material. For instance, one site on the list has information about the history of casino gambling on its site.

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