WTO Says Online Casino Business Is Like Any Other
In an interesting twist of events, the World Trade Organization has come out with a statement that portrays the online casino business like any other. The decision is significant in the international business aspects of it, countering the United States policy, which wishes to ban online casino activities and protect its own land based gambling business. At this point in time the development is mostly theoretical, but it could bring about more significant developments and a new horizon to the online casino business.
It is already common knowledge that the United States has passed a law that bans online casinos from operating and catering to Americans, and has even arrested and filed charges against executives of companies involved with the business, such as payment method providers. This policy has seen much opposition by the common gamblers, online casino businesses and even governments. One such protester was the government of the small Caribbean island of Antigua, which claimed the US is infringing on trade agreements as regulated by the WTO.
Antigua’s complaint t the WTO will be finally resolved in a matter of weeks. In the meantime, the statement has hurt the US stand and possibly will serve as encouragement for other, bigger countries to follow suit. One scenario sees the European Union charging illegal business behavior by the US with relation to the online casino ban. In case the WTO sides with Antigua in its final verdict, or even with the EU down the line, then these countries will be able to raised tariffs on trade with the US and take similar acts in retaliation. The decision seems to say that with online casino sites too government should behave with fairness and according to free trade principles, just like with any other business.