Easy Come, Easy Go: Antigua Loses To US Over Gambling… Or Maybe Not

from the there-goes-that-plan dept

Antigua has been battling the US for some time over the US’s ban on online gambling. For many years, Antigua-based online casinos have run into problems with US laws. Two years ago, they went to the WTO claiming that the US ban on online gambling was a violation of a fair trade agreement the two nations had signed. It took the WTO almost exactly one year to point out that Antigua was probably right. Of course, that wasn’t acceptable for politicians who seem to think gambling is pure evil (except, of course, when it contributes to local tax coffers) — so, while they planned to ignore the ruling completely (we’re the US, we don’t follow international rulings unless we agree with them), they did file an appeal, just for fun. It turns out that appeal worked, and the WTO has changed its mind, saying that banning gambling is a “moral issue,” and therefore not subject to the fair trade agreement the two nations signed. So, sorry for all you online gambling addicts in the US, but you’re back to breaking the law again. Update: But wait… there’s more. Antigua actually disagrees and says the ruling went in their favor so it appears that quite a few people are now very confused. Both sides say the WTO favored their arguments. Looking through the details suggests that this really was a victory for Antigua, not the US, but that the US believes a few small adjustments will put its ban into compliance with the WTO ruling again. In other words, this isn’t over yet.

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