Trade Dispute Continues Over Casinos

Published August 28, 2005 by OCR Editor

Trade Dispute Continues Over Casinos

The long standing dispute between the United States and operators of online casinos based in the Caribbean has become a hot issue at the World Trade Organization (WTO) which has requested that the US make its policy towards internet gambling completely cl

As it stands, the US has softened its stance on online horse betting but continues to uphold the ban of all other forms of online gambling. One Caribbean nation, Antigua, runs several gambling sites within its territory and feels it is being targeting directly by the US and penalized by their policy.

Antigua is looking for clarification at the WTO on America's denial to allow online gambling within its territory while allowing in some cases, horse betting online. Antigua is arguing that this is an inconsistency on the part of the US and has taken the challenge to the WTO. Last April, the WTO sided with the US ban and issued a ruling that some Caribbean nations say has hurt their economies.

Since the United States does allow betting on horse racing in some circumstances over the internet, Antigua and other Caribbean nations interpret this as a positive step that the laws against online casinos operating on their soil may be relaxed in the near future. The WTO has asked the US to clarify its position about online gambling by April.

Neena Moorjani, representing the US Trade Representative (USTR) commented about the dispute, saying: "The one narrow issue we have to resolve is this: When a WTO member invokes a WTO exception, such as public morals, WTO rules say they have to do it without arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination. We have to clarify that there is no arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination in the treatment of horse racing."

See also

Tunnel Vision: New Antigua Regulation Provides no Operator Concessions

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