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Maybe The US Can Ignore Antigua, But EU Is Another Story

from the high-stakes dept

Antigua can complain all it wants about the US blocking its online gambling industry, but its threats are dulled by the fact that Antigua doesn’t represent a major trading partner. So, other than setting up some sort of allofmp3.com-style music site, there’s not much it can do to retaliate. But now the EU is jumping into the fray, complaining that the US’ move to block online gambling sites contravenes WTO agreements. And unlike Antigua, the EU does have serious retaliatory weapons at its disposal because it’s such an important trading partner. Unfortunately for online gambling enthusiasts, the EU isn’t trying to get the ban overturned, but it’s exploring how it can be compensated for lost business. Most likely, it will seek to slap certain US goods with high tariffs. An economist would say that retaliatory trade barriers don’t make any sense and that they essentially amount to cutting off one’s nose to spite their face. However, that’s never stopped countries from engaging in this practice in the past. Given that the WTO is likely to side with the EU on this question (as it has with Antigua), it would appear that the US will have to pay a price for its stance.

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Comments on “Maybe The US Can Ignore Antigua, But EU Is Another Story”

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Blame Canada says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Ever notice the most vocal complaints of the US come from Canada.
I always find it interesting that though they live in our shadow of our US protection in manners economic as well as military they criticize us so harshly.
Always funny to watch someone reap in the benefits of a negative action but then distance themselves from the consequences of the system that brings them so much benefit.

Anonymous Coward says:

What a hypocrite

“I’ll be damned if I let someone tell me how I run my household.”

What a hypocritical viewpoint. Every person who is playing online poker, CHOSE to do that. Your arguing that if you don’t want online poker, then other people shouldn’t be allowed to play either?

And ONLINE is the key word, because the US lets people gambling in the USA, it’s just when they want to online in Antigue its suddenly a moral issue??

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: What a hypocrite

Well you mis-read what I typed. What I said was

“1.) I don’t have a problem with people gaining access to online gambling”

I’m not sure what part of that you don’t understand.

“2.)(figuratively speaking) I’ll be damned if I let someone tell me how I run my household.”

“Figuratively speaking” being the key phrase here. Meaning, if a country chooses NOT to have something then what right does any other country have to attempt to force thier buisness practices on them.

In this instance, the EU doesn’t give a rats ass if Americans or anybody else for that matter can gamble online or not, they just want to figure out how to line thier pockets.

Please try to read the story (and my posts) alittle more clearly. You may actually learn something 🙂

Anonymous Coward says:

Another hypocrite

“So why don’t we let child porn come in? Why don’t we let pirated music and software come? BECAUSE WE DON’T THINK IT WILL BE GOOD FOR OUR CITIZENS…..”

Bullshit, you have Vegas you have stock gambling, horse betting, state lotteries.
You just don’t let your citizens play the games online they chose to play.

Sanguine Dream says:

Its all about money...

The US government is cracking down so hard on online gambling because they can’t control it (i.e. take the lion’s share of profit) like lotteries, horse racing, and Las Vegas/Atlantic City. Plain and simple so ifs ands or buts about it. Gambling taxes are pure profit so why would they want to let such a big source of income go unchecked?

I’d really like to see what the US government would do if Antigua setup an allofmp3.com like site. Simple. The recording industry would persuade (i.e. pay) the US to go after Antigua. Isn’t it amazing how the US has been going after other nations because “free trade” agreements (basically a copyright conformity crusade) but repeatedly ignores the fact that the WTO sided with Atigua?

Not to sound negative but with actions like this I don’t see the US lasting beyond a few more centuries. The government is up to the highest bidder, they try to tell other nations what to do, and spend millions in money and thousands (thats not just counting current events in the Middle East) in lives to secure democracy, all while its own citizens are starving on the streets ever day.

Anonymous Coward says:

The EU trying to “force their business practices” on the US is not the issue here. The issue (and what goes against WTO rules) is that the current law arbitrarily treats certain types of gambling differently, like horse racing and lotteries. If the US had flat out banned gambling in any form this wouldn’t be an issue.

matt (profile) says:

don't assume those of us in the US are happy, eith

Like my subject says,

I’m no more pleased than people overseas are with the US’s “selective gambling ban”. The political system here has been corrupted by the ability to sneak things into unrelated bills and such.

The quicker someone gets rid of bush in ANY way I would applaud it…unfortunately his replacements are garbage too (democratic and republican, all are trash), and the corruption in our political system is so rampant its disgusting.

I think I’m going to put together my own group to fight for the rights of the people or something via political donations since it seems money is the only thing that talks nowadays. Lobbyists, fundies, house and senate all only listen to the money they’re given anyway.

William says:

It's the law stupid

We should legalize crack cocaine then sue the EU for not letting us export it to them. They are trying to tell us how to run our country and we have a right to make up our own minds and make our own laws concerning gambling. I would be different if we had online casinos and were just trying to take money out of foreign casinos. But online gambling is illegal across the board here.

SailorRipley says:

Re: stupid

stupid sounds about right…

they’re not telling you how to run your country. The EU and Antigua are telling you you should adhere to free trade agreements you agree to, and guess what… the WTO (you know, the same organization your country uses to force it’s welfare system (more commonly known as copyright)) agrees with them.

You don’t want that? fine, leave the WTO, annul all free trade agreements and see how much you can still export…

Don’t bitch like a little girl because others are simply telling you you can’t have your cake and eat it too…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: stupid

Another person that puts logic, decency, and/or fairness above the US government’s main objective. No its not money, its control. The US gov wants to basically be able to police the world and tell everyone else what to do and they come up with these treaties, agreements, and whatnot just to keep other nations in line by hanging a guillotine over everyone’s head ready to chop when someone gets out of line.

Decades ago the US found it useful to put a war monger in power in the Middle East and everything was good…until he got out of hand and all of a sudden he became the enemy.

Recently the RIIA starting using the US gov. as a tool to enforce “free trade agreements” in which the main focal point was to make sure other nations abided by American IP laws.

And now that the WTO have passed a ruling that goes against the US agenda they decided to just ignore the ruling. How quaint.

Anonymous Coward says:

eqivalent (William) would be more like saying that if the us had legal pot shops online and amsterdam was blocking our sales to its country because they arent able to tax it on its way in, or are at very least inefficient at it.

EU = mad because we allow certain areas of gambling, but not the kind that benifits them so they cry foul.

just as american companies claim foul on foreign companies that export to us, but have restrictive import limits on similar goods coming into their country. Its all bout who is making the money, and EU is madbecause the us is trying to keep its money here.

xavier says:

Every country could set their rule about what shou

It seems that some of you think that the US should have the right to rule what their citizen can or can’t access online.

Do you find it that different than, say, the china gov. deciding to ban websites that contains information they don’t want to be seen either ?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Every country could set their rule about what

UUMMM …. I think you r trying to make your point with too broad of a paint brush.

You could use that example for just about anything concerning any county and then try to make claim that the country in question is oppressing thier citizens.

Sorry but that analogy just ain’t working.

William says:

We could tax gambling

If online gambling were legal we could tax it because the US would be the major player in the field. Do you honestly think that casinos would have headquarters in Rat-Turd Mexico if they could do it in the US legally? The US government shut down all the US based online casinos because we choose not to allow online gamboling. Do you expect us to then allow foreign companies to come in and support gambling when we prevent our own companies from doing it?

The greatest fear of casinos in Antigua is that we will legalize online gambling and the Las Vages players will get involved and drive them out of business. They are trying to get US money without US compition is what they are trying to do.

Tom Tinsley says:

U.S. Regulation vs. Consumer Interest

Online Gambling is not a moral issue for the U.S. Regulators. U.S. Citizens have access to a vast number of options where Gaming/Gambling is concerned. Very early in the initial emergance of Online Casinos, many problems developed. Fixed Games, Credit Card Theft, defaults on paying large winnings, and No System for Reporting Winnings were the major issues. On the first two, the U.S. had no recourse to protect consumers who were being ripped off. Off Shore businesses in the Gaming sector typically setup opperations in small countries where they have little or no regulation and most of all Low Taxes. Our government has a responsibility to protect U.S. Consumers. Where they do not have cooperation from a foriegn government, the only option left is to ban the activity and block it from U.S. consumers. This would not be the case if 1) Online Gambling businesses opperated in countries which enforced consumer rights & 2) Countries hosting these type of businesses would take legitimate responsibility instead of ignoring the issues in favor of collecting the tax revenue they receive.

Ask yourself this: How would you feel if you signed up for an Online Poker Game. 100’s of people joined and everyone bought $250 worth of chips. The cards just fell into your hand and you end up winning $75,000 after 18 grueling hours. When you go to cash out, you get excuses about confirming your checking account, address, Photo ID and anything else you can imagine. The money never shows up, you even loose the $250 you put in! You call the “Authorities” to report fraudulent activities. They contact the government of the country hosting the business. The government in that country responds with some statement claiming that since the company is current on their taxes, they trust them to handle the matter without any invovlment from the local authorities.

This is one example of how online gambling became such an issue for the U.S. Government. Even when we can identify and prove who is responisble, many of the foriegn governments in these small countries, become reluctant to take any action for fear that the businesses paying them taxes will move shop to another country which will turn a blind eye. This business model was developed by organized crime, drug cartels, and recently adopted by terrorists.

The U.S. is not trying to limit it’s citizens because of a control conspiracy. This is simply a safe and conservative approach to being responsible for protecting the American Consumer.

If you really want to play poker online and win $$. May I suggest a site like http://www.betzip.com ? You pay $20/Month and can participate in unlimited cash tournaments every week. Place near the top or win these tournaments, and you get paid. They were the first company to get individual states to approve the business for U.S. consumer participation. You are playing real tournaments! The monthly membership serves as the entry fee, and you can’t loose your entire paycheck by participating.

Please don’t flame this post. I enjoy reading your opinions, and just thought you might want to have some better information.


cutter892 says:

Re: Re: U.S. Regulation vs. Consumer Interest

If the US allowed online gambling for US companies then the companies of other countries will start crying to the United Nannies about unfair business practices. So to avoid the headache of having to deal with these crybabies the US just outright banned all online gambling.

SailorRipley says:

Re: Re: Re: U.S. Regulation vs. Consumer Interest

that’s so funny…next thing you know, (to use William’s idea) while the US is suing the EU for not allowing the US to import crack cocaine , Columbia will run to the United Nannies to cry it’s not fair that now American companies can make and sell crack cocaine…
sounds ludicrous, doesn’t it? so does your scenario

Nemo says:

Re: Re: U.S. Regulation vs. Consumer Interest

What like Enron, Haliburton,Exxon Mobile while in the name of trade Antigua has to allow any US goods into it’s markets unhindered.

Then lets get into US agriculture subsidies, perhaps not we’ll never resolve anything then, well if it was abolished it would be a start !!

anymouse (profile) says:

Government of the Money, by the Money, for the Mon

The US government has become a joke. The founding fathers recognized that any concentration of power (in those in control of the government) eventually leads to corruption of the system. This is why there is a specific clause in the constitution that says (to paraphrase)when the current system of government is no longer representative of the people, it can be scrapped and replaced by the people…

Will this happen in my lifetime? Not likely, people are too comfortable with the evil they know versus the potential evil of the unknown. However if the current situation continues (manufacturers of electronic voting machines guaranteeing results to certain parties, ignoring the ‘missing’ 18,000 votes in a race decided by less than 400 votes, and similar perversions of the intention of the system.) it won’t be too long before people start considering the idea of replacing the existing system with something that works (assuming that some corporation is not already in a position of complete control over the US Government).

Imagine how much money would be saved if all government employees were laid off and all government funded projects/programs were canceled. There would be serious repercussions, but nothing that the savings of billions of dollars wouldn’t be able to cover ….. If all employees were given full retirement with their current salary for the rest of their life, there would still be billions of dollars left to clean up the other residual messes.

This won’t be a bloodless change, just as the US/British change wasn’t bloodless, but would anybody argue that it was a bad decision?

OH no, I’m seriously talking about going into politics (revolution is a form of politics), somebody shoot me now…

ThatDude (user link) says:

This craziness

Gambling has long been viewed as a practice that has moral implications. In some forms, one man’s gain is another man’s loss on a one-to-one basis, without a beneficial effect for society. For those intent on winning, this fosters an attitude of ripping your fellow men apart for personal profit and has long been the subject of moral condemnation (rightly so). If the citizens of the United States want to forbide a practice on moral grounds, that is their right, and that some politicians in the EU think that they decide what can and can not be policy in the US on a protecting-morality sort of issue is disturbing on many levels: What other realms of US policy do they think they are entitled to dictate? Why do they think they are entitled to steal money from US tax payers?

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