WTO rules in online gambling dispute,
8 April 2005
World Trade Organization has handed down its much awaited appeal
decision on whether the US goes in fact contravene trade laws with
respect to its stance against online gambling.
November 2004, the tiny Caribbean nation of Antigua Barbuda
took its case against the US to the WTO which ruled that the the US
had infact breached the General Agreement on Trade and Services
(GATS) with its anti-online gambling stance. The US
subsequently appealed the decision.
the consensus amongst commentators seems to be that the appeal
largely upheld the original decision, the ruling seems to have a
little bit in it for both parties.
restrictions on internet gambling can be maintained," Acting
U.S. Trade Representative Peter F. Allgeier insisted. "This
report essentially says that if we clarify U.S. internet gambling
restrictions in certain ways, we’ll be fine."
as Mark Mendel, lead legal counsel for Antigua's case, put it,
“Unless the US wants to repeal all of its laws that currently
permit any form of domestic remote gambling and also adopt laws to
affirmatively prohibit it in all forms country-wide, they will have
to provide Antigua fair access."
From a story reported in USA Today,
16 March 2005
US states appear set to move toward legalizing gambling - flying in
the face of prosecutors who have tried to apply the Wire Act of 1961
to prosecute online gambling operators.
move comes after almost a decade spent by legal experts trying to
grapple with the question of whether it is legal to gambling online
in the US, and endless debate as to the inadequacy of current
legislation and the inability of lawmakers to arrive at a workable
legislative ban on online gambling.
states are confident that proposed state legislation seeking to
legalize online gambling operations in those states will not violate
federal law, and are prepared to take there cause to court if
and Georgia are all either considering bills in their respective
houses allowing the sale of lottery tickets online. North
Dakota have already passed legislation that will allow internet
poker sites to operate inside the state. "No
one wants tax increases. This is a legitimate revenue maker,"
says North Dakota state Rep. Jim Kasper, R-Fargo who introduced the
this comes amid news that the British parliament is this year
expected to allow 137 terrestrial casinos throughout the United
Kingdom to accept bets online from US residents, and continued
interest in the WTO ruling against the US stance on online gambling.
Isle of man invites the poker
In December 2004,
the Isle of Man moved to further entice online gambling operators by
reviewing their current Online Gambling Regulation Act.
the review, the Island's Authorities have taken the following steps:
- removal of the £2 million bond;
- removal of the need for all
software changes to be certified in advance;
- the ability to have P2P poker and
progressive jackpots licensed as regulated activities; and
- no intention to prescribe in the
revised legislation countries from which taking bets would be
The clear in intent from the Isle of
Man is to attract online poker operators.