US Cuts Deals To Keep EU, Canada And Japan From Siding With Antigua In Online Gambling Dispute

from the so-much-for-that-plan dept

For quite some time now, we've covered the ongoing dispute between the US and Antigua over the fact that the US's ban on online gambling violates free trade agreements between the two countries. While the US has tried to unilaterally change those agreement to keep gambling out, the WTO has repeatedly made it clear that the US was at fault (even though the US has pretended otherwise). Either way, the US knew that it could simply ignore Antigua, as the tiny country couldn't do much to hurt it (even if it moved forward on its plan to become a piracy haven for digital content. However, earlier this year, there were rumblings that the EU would get involved on Antigua's side, putting a lot more pressure on the US. However, it appears that US politicians and diplomats made quick work of that signing new agreements with the EU, Canada and Japan to keep those three out of the way, leaving the dispute between the US and Antigua, with much less powerful countries like Costa Rica and Macau backing Antigua's position. Not surprisingly, online gambling firms in the EU aren't pleased that the powers that be in the EU rolled over like this -- and neither are folks in the US who still don't understand why it's okay for them to buy a lottery ticket, but they can't play a little poker online.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Shun, Dec 18th, 2007 @ 9:41am

    Aren't these side agreements themselves illegal?

    If the original internet gambling bill went against the WTO rules, how are these new agreements any different?

    These actions by the U.S. only feed into the paranoid conspiracy theories that the U.N. and all supra-national agencies are there only to enforce the "One World Government" view, and do nothing for the people living in those individual countries.

    So what if the EU, Japan, and Canada agree with the U.S.? Is the U.S.'s position fundamentally correct? Is it consistent with the decisions of a "fair and balanced" trade body? How anyone can see the actions of the U.S., in this and many other contexts, as honest and fair is beyond me.

    The various governments of the world must be living in a rich-country version of Steve Jobs' "Reality Distortion Field." It's time to come back to reality. The truth matters. Just because you are rich and powerful does not mean that you can lie your way out of any agreement you sign. If you don't like the rules, don't participate, and don't whine when some little podunk country like Macau breaks the rules.

    I am not an advocate for free internet gambling. I really have no position on that one way or the other. I get pissed when I see a story where some U.S. diplomat criticizes someone else for "not living up to international obligations". Now there's the pot calling the kettle black.

     

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      Joe Smith, Dec 18th, 2007 @ 10:28am

      Significance of amending agreements

      So what if the EU, Japan, and Canada agree with the U.S.?

      If the EU, Japan and Canada have signed amending agreements to exclude online gambling that does not mean they agreed with the US position - in fact the need for amending agreements is a strong indication that those countries (and the US itself) are of the view that the underlying agreements prohibit the restrictions on online gambling.

       

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      Shaggy, Dec 18th, 2007 @ 11:19am

      Re: Aren't these side agreements themselves illega

      I am Canadian... I don't ever remember being asked.

      Id say no. The US must stop acting as bully/temper tan-trum/dictator. Step up to the rules that you enforce on everyone else.

       

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    matt, Dec 18th, 2007 @ 10:05am

    it gets better

    how the hell does this pass? We don't even know WHAT the deal is? How can we be expected to approve of something as a nation when we don't even have the information!

     

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    anony, Dec 18th, 2007 @ 10:06am

    does this count??

    how about Chinglish??

    Isnt that close enough?

     

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    Max Powers, Dec 18th, 2007 @ 12:07pm

    Decision Surprised Me

    Being a long time online poker player I was shocked when I heard of this agreement. What went on behind closed doors must of been a really sweet deal for the EU, Japan, and Canada.

    Now that the U.S. has found a way around the WTO ruling (as the smaller nations won't matter to the U.S.) I have decided that legal online gambling will never pass legislation. The Horse Racing Industry definitely had a hand in all of this and payoff's were made.

    But there is good news. I will never have to pay taxes on my winnings from the poker tournaments when I make it to the money table.

    Online gambling will only get stronger.

     

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    Bully for not wanting to give up tax revenue ?, Dec 18th, 2007 @ 8:52pm

    Well Shaggy,

    if you are tired of the US being a Bully, perhaps Canada should stop using US infrastructure and build your OWN transcontinental highway and stop using OURS. You also might consider contributing to your OWN defense and stop calling the US a Bully for trying to hang onto the tax revenues generated by gambling.

    Tax money that so comfortably removes the burden of defense, immigration hassles, and basic infrastructure development from the ever so kind and genial Canadians !

     

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    Bully for not wanting to give up tax revenue ?, Dec 18th, 2007 @ 8:53pm

    Well Shaggy,

    if you are tired of the US being a Bully, perhaps Canada should stop using US infrastructure and build your OWN transcontinental highway and stop using OURS. You also might consider contributing to your OWN defense and stop calling the US a Bully for trying to hang onto the tax revenues generated by gambling.

    Tax money that so comfortably removes the burden of defense, immigration hassles, and basic infrastructure development from the ever so kind and genial Canadians !

     

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    Bob Jones, Dec 19th, 2007 @ 2:09am

    Well Bully, I thought you were the land of the free ... Canadians can gamble, does that make them the land of the free now? Should we all aspire to be Canadians now? Gods special free children?

     

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    Just Me, Dec 19th, 2007 @ 7:16am

    Bully??

    What is with the anti-Canadian sentiment from Bob Jones and "Bully..."
    Canada HAS it's own infrastructure, we HAVE our own military (we just value peacekeeping over INVASION).
    We HAVE our own highways and free health-care. We also HAVE online gambling.

    Canada may not be perfect but the States is in no position to claim perfection either.

    How about we focus on the story at hand and stop with all this patriotic country-bashing BS.

     

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    mike, Dec 20th, 2007 @ 7:03am

    The WTO, UN, and other world organizations like them are there to let small worthless countries like Antigua pretend that they matter. For stuff the important countries care about, the rulings at these organizations are ignored as they should be.

     

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