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US Must Comply with WTO Online Casinos Decision

The US has received criticism and has come under fire by both Antigua and Barbuda, the jurisdiction that challenged American policies regarding online casinos last year. It has less than six weeks to comply with a 2005 World Trade Organization (WTO) decision, in which the US must modify its online casino gaming policy to comply with the WTO ruling. Antigua and Barbuda sent a written complaint to Rob Portman, US Trade Representative, claiming that he had shown no effort in changing America’s policy. The letter was sent after two bills were introduced in congress, both bringing US online casino gambling policies further from WTO compliance, rather than closer.

The WTO decision, which was decreed in late 2004, refers to the US amending its legal stance on offshore online casino sites and operators. The WTO initially ruled that the US violated international trade standards with its online casino gaming policies. The US appealed this decision, and the WTO, in response, modified its ruling, adding to the original censure that although it recognized the US’s right to restrict online casino gambling, the policies held by the US were inconsistently applied.

According to Antigua and Barbuda, the US has not made any noticeable effort to try and change its online casino gaming policies and overall attitude regarding the WTO decree. The only two bills which have thus far been introduced into Congress by Congressmen Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia) and Jim Leach (R-Iowa) have been presented in favor of further restricting online casino gaming. These bills are surely the reason for the harsh criticism the US is facing now regarding online casino gaming policy. Whether or not the US will comply with the WTO order remains to be seen.

OCA News Editor