State craps out in pass at regulating Internet gambling

Minnesota officials who tried to have ISPs block hundreds of sites that allowed state residents to gamble online have decided to drop their efforts, for the moment. The officials backed off after federal free-speech lawsuits were filed against the state’s point man in the anti-gaming effort.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety had asked ISPs to block access, but instead will seek “to create clear and effective government policies concerning regulation of gambling." The DPS notified 11 ISPs in April of its intent to block the content, including: AT&T Internet Services, Charter Communications, Comcast Cable, DirecTV, Dish Network, Embarq, Sprint/Nextel, Frontier Communications, Qwest, Verizon Wireless and Wildblue Communications.

The Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association called the state’s decision to fold “a victory for Internet rights because what you had was a government administrative branch deeming a list of sites to be on a black list that should be censored.”

For more:
- see this Minneapolis Star-Tribune article