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.