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.


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Comments on “Antigua Starting To Get Angry With US Playing Games Over WTO Online Gambling Ruling”

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42 Comments
Anonymous of Course says:

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.

charlie potatoes (profile) says:

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?

Prometheus says:

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!

Sanguine Dream says:

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…

just another tax payer says:

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.

Jo Mamma says:

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!

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:

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.

GoblinJuice says:

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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)

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Matthew says:

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.

Raymond says:

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.

Shun says:

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.

Avatar28 says:

#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.

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