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WTO Calls for Fair Online Casino Policy

Gamblers, rightfully, demand fair operation standards from the online casino sites which they play at and are members of. But they are not alone in demanding fairness when it comes to online casino gambling. The World Trade Organization seems inclined to decide in this spirit when, in a few weeks, it will rule on the United States policy of banning online casinos. The ban, famously passed by the House a few months ago and signed into law by the President, unfairly protects the American gambling operations while hurting fair trade regulations and practices.

On the other side of this particular case being discussed at the WTO is the government of the small island of Antigua. This Caribbean island is the host of online casino operations, which, among others, serves the American market. By banning international online casino sites from its territory, the US unfairly protects its own land based casinos and others. Thought the decision in favor of Antigua may allow it to take action against the US in the area of trade and tariffs, it will likely be insignificant to the American economy.

However, this is only the first step and that is the significance of the WTO ruling. Today it is Antigua, but it mat serve as a precedent for future actions by larger – much larger – economies. The online casino industry is left guessing, or even imagining, what will happen if the European Union as one takes similar actions against the US. Their interest in fair online casino “trade” is as valid as the Antiguans, and the stick they may hold as a means of retaliation against an offending country much greater. The US government policy may be hurting the American gambling market, but as the WTO says, it does not have to do the same to the international community.

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.

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