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WTO Director Assures US Will Comply on Online Casino Ruling

With Washington dealing with Barney Frank’s proposal to legislate and regulate the online casino industry, the Director General of the World Trade Organization is pouring some fuel into the fire by telling Caribbean leaders that the United States will eventually have to comply with the organization’s rulings regarding online casino gambling. The WTO has ruled in favor of Antigua in a case against the United States on the ground that the latter is not complying with the free trade guidelines and actually discriminate foreign firms when it comes to online casino gambling.

Antigua claimed that while American firms are allowed to offer land based gambling to the American public, international firms – that can only offer online casino gambling – cannot penetrate the market. The ruling is putting a lot of pressure on the American administration and only makes Frank’s new bill even more important than it already is. The United States will have to rethink its stand regarding the online casino industry at some point in the future. Possibly, Frank’s proposal might be the branch that American politicians were looking for, the branch that will help them claim down of the anti online casino gambling tree that they are standing on.

The Director General has assured Antigua that the World Trading Organization will make sure that his larger members do not act as they please and that everyone follows the code of the organization. Antigua is amongst the smallest members in the WTO, but that has nothing to do with the fact that the United States must follow the instructions of the organization in regards to free international trade, even when talking about online casino gambling. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act has many holes that do not shine positively on the US. For instance, while online casino gambling is banned – online horseracing betting is allowed. Such inconsistencies were the base for Antigua’s case, and the US will have to seriously reconsider its position on online casino gambling.

OCA News Editor