Investigates American Restrictions of Online Casinos
The World Trade
Organization has set up an investigation after allegations from
Antigua and Barbuda assert that the restrictions the United
States has implemented against online casinos do not comply with
international trade laws.
Antigua and Barbuda petitioned the World Trade Organization at
the beginning of June to investigate after they consulted with
the United States Government over restrictions on American
citizens gambling in online casinos. The discussions brought no
solution to the online casinos debate and the US government
refused to budge on their decision.
In previous investigations by the World Trade Organization, the
American Government was found to be in accordance with some of
the international laws concerning online casinos but not all of
Antigua and Barbuda are pushing for the panel to investigate as
there are bills passing in the United States that will ban
online casinos outright and this the two island country believe
is contrary to the WTO ruling. Antigua and Barbuda claim that
the Federal Wire Act, the Travel Act and the Illegal Gaming
Business Act all go against trade rules.
The US government stands firm behind its actions and claims that
its laws concerning online casinos are all in compliance with
the WTO ruling.
The World Trade Organization panel was set up this week, two
days after the FBI arrested the CEO of one of the largest online
casinos. The British based online casinos company is licensed in
Antigua. The CEO David Carruthers was arrested while on a
layover in Dallas Fort Worth Airport, on his way to Antigua. The
online casinos group was charged on counts of racketeering and
Antigua and Barbuda rely on the lucrative online casinos
industry to supply jobs to hundreds of islanders. The business
is a welcome effort to try and create work that does not rely on
tourism. By diversifying, more islanders can have year round
work and not rely on seasonal jobs that leave them unemployed
for some periods.
The WTO panel will investigate over a 90 day period and then
submit its decision to both sides. America and Antigua and
Barbuda are both permitted to appeal the outcome of the decision
if they so desire.
United States trade officials state that the negotiations of the
Uruguay round of global trade talks in 1995, which created the
World Trade Organization specifically meant to exclude gambling
and online casinos.
The United States has the biggest number of gamblers in online
casinos in the world. More than half the people gambling online
globally are citizens from the United States and North America,
generating around $7 billion out of the $12 billion total.
Americans still gamble in online casinos despite the laws that
make it illegal. The authorities don't enforce illegal gambling
by the gamers but aim their attentions at those who run online
casinos and those who promote the industry.
Many believe that the American government is fighting a losing
battle and internet gambling is here to stay.