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The World Trade Organization Challenges US Online Casino Ban

The legal ban on the online casino industry in the US has drawn fire from an unexpected direction – the international community. The legality of the law which protects American land casinos from offshore online casino competition is under dispute from different international free trade organizations namely, the World Trade Organization. The WTC has already ruled back in November 2004 that American state and Federal laws regarding online casinos are in breach of general agreement on trade and services (GATS) or in other words the laws aren’t fair.

Recently, following the recent online casino bill passed by Congress and signed into law by the president, George W. Bush, the WTO appeal panel met to uphold their previous decision regarding online casino laws back in November 2004. The WTO believes that the US decision to ban online casinos is not aimed at keeping and protecting public morals and order as claimed but rather to create unfair competition between offshore online casinos and American land based casinos by virtually banning competition. This is opposed to many of the United States many free trade agreements.

The world trade organization is taking sides with foreign governments of countries where the online casino industry is an important part of the national economy such as Antigua and Barbuda, other Caribbean countries, as well as European and Central American government who are complaining that the United States’ government is creating unfair trade policies on a global scale. These Trade policies put many online casino stronghold countries in potential risk of financial loss.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.