by Mike Masnick
Tue, Dec 18th 2007 9:16am
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.
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