Antigua Starting To Get Angry With US Playing Games Over WTO Online Gambling Ruling

from the getting-fed-up dept

We've been covering the ongoing dispute between the US and Antigua over online gambling for more than seven years, and to be honest, Antigua has been quite patient with the games that the US is playing. In 2003, Antigua finally filed a complaint with the WTO, noting that the US appeared to be violating its free trade treaties, especially since the US still allowed gambling on things like horse racing. In 2004, the WTO agreed and ruled that the US had no right to try to control Antigua-based online casinos. The US promptly ignored the WTO ruling. Then, a year later, the WTO again told the US that it was wrong, and the US pretended that the WTO changed its mind, when the reality was the opposite. A few months later, the WTO did the equivalent of stomping its feet and demanding that the US change its rules, and the US promptly ignored them. Earlier this year, the WTO again sided with Antigua, but since there's been no consequences from ignoring WTO rulings on the matter, the US pretty much shrugged. When pressed, US officials claimed that the US was going to get around the fact that they were breaking treaty obligations by... changing the treaty. The latest is that Antigua is once again demanding that the WTO and other countries force the US to comply with the WTO ruling, though that seems unlikely to be happen. Other countries are lining up to support Antigua, but it doesn't seem likely that it's going to change US policy much. We're still waiting to see if Antigua will follow the suggestions that have gone around to set up free music download sites in Antigua as retaliation, since asking the US to fix things isn't getting it very far.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    DCX2, May 23rd, 2007 @ 7:06am

    Why...

    Why doesn't the WTO just kick the US out?

     

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  2.  
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    RandomThoughts, May 23rd, 2007 @ 7:23am

    If we don't care what others think about our Iraq policy, why should we be concerned that Antigua gets ticked off over online gambling? What will Antigua do? Cut off our supply of (wait, its coming to me, I will have it soon.....)

     

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  3.  
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    Some guy, May 23rd, 2007 @ 7:29am

    Yeah, the rule of law is for chumps!

     

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  4.  
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    Anon, May 23rd, 2007 @ 7:35am

    Self serving politics from short term politicians.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Mark, May 23rd, 2007 @ 7:36am

    Why are we wasting our time?

    Why are we spending all this time to stop people from gambling? Why not just tax the snot out of it and let people do what they will? Will people stop going to Vegas/Tahoe because of this? Unlikely. Just tax the earnings and put the money to something useful and move on.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Blackshire, May 23rd, 2007 @ 7:46am

    Re:

    Antigua will refuse to recognize US intellectual property laws and will become an intellectual property clearing house.

     

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  7.  
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    charlie potatoes, May 23rd, 2007 @ 7:51am

    family values

    its the jimmy carter curse at work...on leaving office he prayed that the american people would get a government as good as they are.. one they deserved. and, by god, we got it... it took a while but bush and the neocon artists seized power and rule by decree. they know what's best for americans and the world. they speak directly to their god, why should they obey rulings from organizations of men?

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous of Course, May 23rd, 2007 @ 8:04am

    Re: Why...

    As the third ranked exporter of goods,
    behind China and Germany, it would be
    a bit assinine to kick the US out of
    the WTO.

    The WTO would lose any authority they
    can muster against one of the world's
    largest trading partners.

    The WTO can always impose sanctions
    as a last resort. I guess they don't
    consider it an issue worth the trouble.
    After all, even the WTO has to pick and
    choose their fights.

     

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  9.  
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    HAHA, May 23rd, 2007 @ 8:07am

    You wish it was as EZ as just taxing it. You see if they pass laws to tax it they are saying it is a legal practice. The same free trade laws say the US cant randomly tax another countries commodity.


    The US is well within its rights to set it's own gambling laws, hypocritical or not.

     

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  10.  
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    Sanguine Dream, May 23rd, 2007 @ 8:07am

    And people...

    wonder why the rest of the world thinks Americans are arrogant. The US is just going to ignore any rulings that aren't in their favor. But I'm willing ot bet if Antigua refused to acknowledge American IP laws and let all sorts of file sharing sites to setup shop the RIAA/MPAA with the US government at its back (yes in that order) would do everything possible to stop them.

    Let's just be glad Antigua doesn't have an extremely valuable export like oil...

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2007 @ 8:09am

    Re: family values

    You forgot to somehow use the word moral in there. When you talk about Bush and his administration you have to mention is morals.

     

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  12.  
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    Overcast, May 23rd, 2007 @ 8:17am

    Oh well, our glorious government agreed to it, in spite of the concerns of many.... Guess they need to 'ante' up now!

     

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  13.  
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    steve, May 23rd, 2007 @ 8:24am

    Morals

    Yes they are SITTING on their morals and it is doing us NO GOOD.

     

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  14.  
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    Lucy, May 23rd, 2007 @ 8:30am

    I'll huff and I'll puff...

    A schoolyard bully can only kick sand in the little guy's face for so long before the bully (or his friends) decide to retaliate. I am an American, but am completely embarrassed by the schoolyard bullying being perpetrated on the world by my own government.

     

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  15.  
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    |333173|3|_||3, May 23rd, 2007 @ 8:39am

    Taxing gambling

    Actually, the US govt. can (probably) tax gambling however heavily they like, so long as that was ntoa barrier to free trade. This basically means that the US could charge anything, so long as US companies have to pay the same tax for the same thing.

     

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  16.  
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    James, May 23rd, 2007 @ 8:59am

    Pffffft

    Please everyone knows the shrub and his cronies know how you to need to live your life BETTER than you do. We don't need no stinkin' gambling.

    Well 'cept for the horse gambling and bingo.

     

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  17.  
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    Dosquatch, May 23rd, 2007 @ 9:12am

    Re: Re: family values

    You forgot to somehow use the word moral in there. When you talk about Bush and his administration you have to mention is morals.

    They must first have morals to mention. That's what we like to call a "prerequisite".

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    just another tax payer, May 23rd, 2007 @ 9:14am

    Gambeling is wrong......

    Except of course for horse racing, boxing, bingo and government sponsored lotteries. The reality here is that our polotician have paid by lobbiest representing Vegas, the Indian tribes, Atlantic City and by the religious right to "protect" us unwitting americans from the evils of online gambeling. This doesn't have a damn thing to do with right. As usual its about who'd getting paid for the privelage of screwing over the US consumer.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Jo Mamma, May 23rd, 2007 @ 10:05am

    WTO is right

    I'm afraid to admit it, but I agree with everyone on this board (kinda frightening, if you ask me).

    If we are ever to advance as a species, we must have a set of rules and abide by them. The USA does this at its option, not as a matter of standard practice.

    Not to belittle only the US. This is how all nation states act with one another. It is a constant jockeying for resources and influence, and there are no rules. And it is repugnant.

    The problem is that nationalism among the populace tends to push leaders of the countries to these actions. There really is no solution, since competition is part of our fabric as humans.

    Poor little Antigua will continue to get kicked around, just as poor medium sized Mexico gets kicked and does kicking.

    My point? Eh, guess I don't have one, just a rant!

     

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  20.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), May 23rd, 2007 @ 10:06am

    Re #6 & Thoughts

    I hope Antigua sticks it to our crappy peoples and becomes an IP Clearing House. They could call it that too, just to insult them. This kind of shit (and well, everything else the current regime has done since it achieved office in 2000) really does make me ashamed to be an American. I feel for the rest of the world, and resent those in power here.
    I sure as heck didn't vote for them.

    If it weren't for all of my relatives being here, I would have left by now.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    GoblinJuice, May 23rd, 2007 @ 10:12am

    Meh. Congrats to Antigua. :-|

    Besides a couple of dollars in nickels at a slot machine - back when I was in my early teens, I've never gambled. It doesn't interest me. At all.

    If someone wants to piss their time and money away on gambling, let 'em. Tax 'em or don't. I don't care.

    It's just Darwin at work, baby. ;-)

    Congrats to Antigua. I hope they put the money of the fools who gamble to good use. (Maybe, er, like promote your country so I know - roughly - where it is without having to Google it?? :-P)

     

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  22.  
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    Instructor, May 23rd, 2007 @ 10:17am

    Re: Why...

     

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  23.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), May 23rd, 2007 @ 10:23am

    Aaaar

    IP clearinghouse? Wasn't Antigua one of the original "Pirate Bay's". What comes around goes around. Aaar, mateys.

     

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  24.  
    icon
    David Watkins (profile), May 23rd, 2007 @ 10:51am

    Antigua gambling.

    Does anyone know the law here or what the exact charges were? Is it unconsitutional for the US to lesgislate the behavior of American citizens in foreign countries? EG, is it against US law for an American citizen to commit murder in a foreign country? How about pederasty? How about buying Cuban goods?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Prometheus, May 23rd, 2007 @ 11:42am

    Re: family values

    O.K Mr. Potatoe Head

    He thumps his bible and in the name of what?

    He is simply a backward red neck idiot. He wants to be in the spotlight so badly that he will ramble incoherently in his book about things that he doesn't even have the slightest cue about ......the middle east world.

    The west will never understand the middle east people if they do not understand their culture first. His book does not help, except to confuse the people over there!

    It left me saying and your point is ... what?

    The Palestine people ... laugh at him ... huge sums of bribe money for peace, and he received the nobel peace prize for giving money to the terrorest, who only bought lots of guns, bullets, and explosives.

    Yeah dollars for peace? Only in America ... that is the true God of the American people.

    He hates Bush ... because his daddy beat his pants off. He simply holds a grudge that he is just too stupid to keep his mouth shut. He wants to look like a jackass.

    Carter has truly been an inspiration to his party's symbol, because he is the biggest jackass of them all-since Andrew Jackson the first jackass!

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2007 @ 1:29pm

    Re: Why...

    lol, very broad minded response.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2007 @ 2:01pm

    state laws

    I believe that one of the problems is that Gambling is indeed legal in the US. Each state has its own laws making it legal or illegal. Each state can make rules on what type of gambling is legal and not.

    It is wrong for the US government to say Gambling only illegal if you do it online. This creates international trade barriers, which is the problem.

    I personally think that gambling is very bad for society in general, although, I love to gamble. I am torn on this issue.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2007 @ 5:42pm

    Re: Re: family values

    He hates Bush ... because his daddy beat his pants off.
    Too bad W's daddy didn't just beat off instead.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2007 @ 5:44pm

    Re: And people...

    wonder why the rest of the world thinks Americans are arrogant.
    We aren't arrogant. We're just better than everyone else and we know it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2007 @ 5:47pm

    Re: Pffffft

    Well 'cept for the horse gambling and bingo.
    And lotteries. And the stock market.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2007 @ 5:50pm

    Re: Re #6 & Thoughts

    I hope Antigua sticks it to our crappy peoples and becomes an IP Clearing House.
    They won't dare try that. And if they did, a few cruise missiles up their southern port, so to speak, would quickly change their minds.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 23rd, 2007 @ 5:54pm

    Re: Antigua gambling.

    Does anyone know the law here or what the exact charges were? Is it unconsitutional for the US to lesgislate the behavior of American citizens in foreign countries? EG, is it against US law for an American citizen to commit murder in a foreign country? How about pederasty? How about buying Cuban goods?
    What you need to realize is that US law is world law. It applies everywhere. Sure, there's some selective enforcement involved but that's the way it is with all law enforcement.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Matthew, May 23rd, 2007 @ 7:49pm

    When has the US ever followed anyone's rules?

    The US is the world's only superpower and they dictate terms to the world. When have they ever followed anyone's rules when it didn't benefit them? Talk about the WTO, world bank, IMF, etc, they're all fine and dandy for the US as long as it works our way. Otherwise feel free to ignore any law or rule that we don't like.

    The US has been doing this throughout history. Step back a few years to 2002-2003 and observe the Iraq invasion. This was in clear violation of UN resolutions, and they decided to go to war regardless of what the UN proposed.

    So... the fact of the matter is that what's happening with a puny nobody like Antigua doesn't matter since no one can make the US do anything they don't like.

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Shun, May 23rd, 2007 @ 9:43pm

    I am troll

    A nice site to go for an overview of U.S. laws (U.S. domestic perspective) is :

    http://www.gambling-law-us.com/Federal-Laws/

    The gist of internet gambling regulation seems to be : location of bettor and location of casino both must be legit. If gambling is illegal in your state, and you make a bet in that state, you're screwed.

    But check out the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978. W00t!!! what a loophole. Anyway...

    Gambling between U.S. and Antigua is analogous to gambling on Tribal lands. Power dynamic is pretty much the same, as well.

    Bottom Line : U.S. gambling laws exist to benefit the established players, such as Las Vegas, Atlantic City, State Lotteries, dogs, and ponies. They hire lobbyists to bribe the Congresscritters, etc. The result is protectionism.

    WTO, like the U.N. and NATO, exist solely to project U.S. power. If they step out of line, they are either ignored, "reformed", or eliminated (impractical, at this point).

    Solution : abandon the WTO. Create a brand new trade body which excludes the U.S. (See the No-Homers episode of "The Simpsons" for reference). Also, do the exact same thing as the U.S. : hand out press releases saying "We won!" when we really didn't, negotiate in bad faith, renege on treaties, etc. Err...but please don't decimate your native population.

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Raymond, May 24th, 2007 @ 2:00am

    Re: When has the US ever followed anyone's rules?

    Give it time. Even when it moves quickly the world moves slowly. Perhaps you think the US will stay a superpower because it has big guns? That only worked in Iraq because people were outraged at terrorists.

    You are at risk of losing to hard working, better educated nations who are not content to fall behind.

     

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  36.  
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    Wizard Prang, May 24th, 2007 @ 6:35am

    Perhaps that is because...

    ...there is no such thing as "intellectual property"

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    Wizard Prang, May 24th, 2007 @ 7:00am

    Close but no cigar.

    "if they pass laws to tax it they are saying it is a legal practice."

    FYI, the IRS requires all forms of income to be reported, including income from Bribes.

    http://www.irs.gov/publications/p525/ar02.html

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Wizard Prang, May 24th, 2007 @ 7:02am

    Re: Re: Antigua gambling.

    Sorry, I missed the sarcasm tag there :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Wizard Prang, May 24th, 2007 @ 7:04am

    The difference.

    Stock is ownership in something - you own something tangible... though I am not sure about day-trading.

    A Lottery Ticket is a purchased chance.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Question, May 24th, 2007 @ 7:29am

    WTO?

    I read something awhile back about the WTO helping the U.S. put pressure on China about piracy. Is that true, and if so, why is the WTO helping the U.S. when the relationship is clearly one-sided?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    SailorRipley, May 24th, 2007 @ 7:32am

    Re: Re: Re #6 & Thoughts

    You honestly think the US can/would get away with just about anything, don't you?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Avatar28, May 25th, 2007 @ 1:46am

    #24 - David Dawkins
    Does anyone know the law here or what the exact charges were? Is it unconsitutional for the US to lesgislate the behavior of American citizens in foreign countries? EG, is it against US law for an American citizen to commit murder in a foreign country? How about pederasty? How about buying Cuban goods?

    -----

    Actually, they CAN regulate your behavior in other countries. For example, if you go to another country and have sex with someone underage, even if it is completely legal in the country you're going to, you can still be nabbed for statutory rape. Actually, that even applies if you just cross state lines. E.g. Age of consent in your state is 18. You go to the next state over where the age of consent is 16 and have sex with someone who is 16 or 17. It was perfectly legal in the state you were in but not your home state. If your home state were to find out about it, they could prosecute you under their age of consent laws. It's slightly more involved than that but that's it in a nutshell.

    Likewise I believe that because marijuana is illegal in the US, if you were to go to Amsterdam and partake of it I believe they could technically still arrest you for it. That's my understanding at least. Of course, unless you run around telling immigration and customs, "Yeah, I just came from Amsterdam. You know, smoke a little weed, stuff like that," proving it is another matter, unless they plan to start drug testing all US citizens coming back to the country.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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