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US V WTO Round Two?
6 April 2009, by Milton
Shaw, Casinospage Staff Writer
Back in 2004, the economic
minion, Antigua Barbuda won a case against the United
States before the World trade Organization, which ruled
that the US approach to restricting US player access to
international online gambling operators, was in breach
of international free trade obligations.
Since then, the US
Government has taken a further step in restricting its
residents from accessing offshore online gambling sites,
by enacting the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement
Act in 2006.
Just last month, a report
into US gambling laws undertaken by the European Trade
Commission has concluded that US online gambling laws
are discriminatory, lacking in justification and in
breach of international free trade undertakings by the
E.U. Trade Commissioner
Catherine Ashton said the United States has a right to
regulate Internet gambling within its borders, but it
"must be done in a way that fully respects WTO
obligations." Ashton said.
So where to now? Well
the report, the European Union's first formalized
opinion into US online gambling laws, now paves the way
for an EU case being brought against the US before the
World Trade Organization. Although it is thought
by many, that a settlement between the two economic
superpowers will be reached before it comes to this.
But one thing is for sure...this is an opponent that,
unlike Antigua Barbuda, the US State Department will nee
to take considerable notice of.
A further consideration in
this whole saga, is the fact that legislation repealing
the UIGEA and replacing it with a law seeking to
regulate online gambling, has been promised to be put
before congress for consideration by congressman Barney
Never a dull moment in the
world of online gambling!