TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: WTO Confirms U.S. Loss in Internet Gambling Case

WTO Confirms U.S. Loss in Internet Gambling Case

Reuters News Wire (
Fri, 30 Mar 2007 15:18:49 -0500

The World Trade Organization (WTO) on Friday confirmed its ruling the
United States had done nothing to abide by an earlier verdict that
labeled some U.S. Internet gambling restrictions as illegal.

In a published version of findings in a complaint brought by Antigua
and Barbuda, initially sent to the parties in January, the
Geneva-based trade referee said the Caribbean island had provided
additional evidence that strengthened its case.

"The panel concludes that the United States has failed to comply with
the recommendations and rulings of the (WTO's) DSB (Dispute Settlement
Body)," the WTO said in the ruling, which can be appealed.

At issue was an April 2005 WTO verdict against U.S. prohibitions on
online betting, notably on horse racing. Since then, the U.S. Congress
has passed additional legislation to ban betting over the Internet.

Antigua has built up an online gambling industry to make up for
declining revenues from tourism.

"This is a smashing success for Antigua in every possible way. The
report will sweep away any lingering doubt that Antigua has obtained a
clear and convincing win over the United States in this matter," said
John W. Ashe, Antigua's ambassador to the WTO. There was no immediate
reaction from Washington.

In the ruling, the WTO panel of three trade judges said that the
United States had not contested the Antiguan charge that it had done
nothing to implement the 2005 ruling.

Instead, Washington had simply sought to re-open the case, but without
giving the panel any grounds to do so, it said.

Copyright 2007 Reuters Limited.

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