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Ruling on Casinos is Unclear
Antigua and Barbuda and the United States both claimed victory
Thursday in a trade dispute over whether Washington should drop
prohibitions on Americans placing bets at online casinos.
Antigua said a World Trade Organization ruling meant that the United
States must drop restrictions on online gambling. But U.S. trade
officials said that the ruling supported their argument and that the
limitations could remain in place.
Mark Mendel, legal counsel for Antigua, said the WTO ruling meant
that U.S. authorities would have to treat Antiguan online casinos in the
same way as traditional gambling outlets.
But a U.S. trade official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said
the ruling meant that Washington did not have to lift restrictions on
"This is effectively a win for the United States, as it seems to say
that if we tighten U.S. Internet gambling restrictions, we’ll be fine,"
the trade official said.
Antigua filed the case in 2003, contending that U.S. restrictions on
Internet gambling violated trade commitments that the United States had
made as a member of the 148-nation WTO.
U.S. trade officials disagreed, saying that negotiators involved in
the Uruguay Round of global trade talks, which created the WTO in 1995,
intended to exclude gambling.
Antiguan authorities also argued that restrictions that barred U.S.
residents from betting at offshore casinos were harming their country’s
efforts to diversify its economy.
entire article at:
International Herald Tribune
2004 Online Casino News Archive