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United States Loses WTO Appeal

Discussion in 'Casino Industry Discussion' started by BingoT, Apr 1, 2007.

    Apr 1, 2007
  1. BingoT

    BingoT Nurses love to give shots webmeister

    Occupation:
    Nursing & Run Bus Trips
    Location:
    Hartford,Ct
    United States Loses WTO Appeal

    You must register/login in order to see the link.
     
  2. Apr 2, 2007
  3. cynthial

    cynthial Boo

    Occupation:
    Fireproofing
    Location:
    Albuquerque
    Hi BingoT,
    The link seems to be broken or article was moved. Could you please check the source and repost link if you find it?
    Thanks
     
  4. Apr 3, 2007
  5. Webzcas

    Webzcas Winter is Coming! Staff Member

    Occupation:
    Webmaster
    Location:
    Block S25, South Stand, Ashton Gate, BS3
    The correct link is: You must register/login in order to see the link.

    However I do believe JetSet has already published this InfoPowa Article in this forum.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Jul 18, 2007
  7. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    Update

    ANTIGUAN LEGAL COUNSEL CRITICAL OF D OF J INVOLVEMENT IN WTO CASE

    What I have finally concluded is that this case is almost 100 per cent about the DoJ

    Antigua's legal counsel during its online gambling dispute with the United States at the World Trade Organisation has been sharply critical of American motivations and Department of Justice involvement this week.

    Mark Mendel from Texas-based solicitors Mendel-Blumenfeld told iGaming Business that outdated impressions of online gambling by some in the US Department of Justice (DoJ) are behind Americas stance, adding that the position taken by the DoJ has been detrimental to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

    What I have finally concluded is that this case is almost 100 percent about the DoJ, said Mendel. One or more DoJ members have been present at almost every meeting we have held with the United States over the past four years, at almost every WTO session - their footprint is big in this case.

    Mendel revealed that one DoJ representative in particular still speaks as if he is in a bad 1950s gangster film with mobsters ruling the world and buying politicians. "This may sound odd but I think that this issue, remote gambling, has been hijacked of sorts by a kind of dated old crowd in the DoJ who are still lost in the days of Bugsy Malone and smoky backrooms when gambling was run by the mob, the lawyer said.

    The Internet gambling case with the WTO had been damaging to the continued success of the organisation but that, with the European Union (EU) becoming involved, the United States will ultimately have no choice but to fold its hand.

    "While Antigua is going to have to work hard and be creative to find ways to effectively retaliate against the United States, the EU won't have any trouble at all,' said Mendel. The United States is literally facing multi-billions of trade retaliation from the EU in all sorts of trade completely unrelated to gambling. All of a sudden, for example, American exporters of auto parts, electric guitars or cotton sweaters to the EU are going to be shut or priced out of the market.

    All of those sectors stand to be sacrificed or at least severely compromised by the United States in this case. All so the United States can protect its domestic gambling industry or perhaps, even worse, to satisfy some dated little constituency in the DoJ. Simply boggles the mind."
     
    9 people like this.
  8. Jul 19, 2007
  9. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    This wont be the first time. A previous trade war centred on European Steel, produced more efficiently than in the US, and thus cheaper. When the US imposed tariffs to protect their domestic steel industry, we had EU counter tariffs on products unrelated to steel, such as the cotton sweaters and electric guitars quoted above. The EU could also take a more robust stance against Microsoft, who are accused of abusing their dominant position to make all things "American" in the computer industry, including dictating to us who we may sell EU manufactured computers to because of the American software they contain.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Jul 19, 2007
  11. Mousey

    Mousey Ueber Meister Mouse CAG

    Occupation:
    Pencil Pusher
    Location:
    Up$hitCreek
    It's the rabidness (is that a word?) of the DoJ regarding online gaming that totally befuddles me. Plus the fact that no one has challenged the DoJ and FBI in court regrading online gambling (excluding sportsbetting) so the Feds continue run amok. The DoJ has stuck its nose in where it doesn't belong -- yet again.

    It would really, really be nice to see the WTO take this to the limit for a change, and not back down when the US says, "we're doing things our own way, butt out!"
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. Jul 20, 2007
  13. SlickWilly

    SlickWilly Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Retail
    Location:
    New York State
    Ridiculous U.S. Government Stance

    Hello everyone,

    Before the US government got involved in all this Internet Gambling - gambling online was a pretty nice deal for US players.:thumbsup:

    The rise of sites like Casinomeister.com provided a backdrop of safety nets to police those not running 'fair gaming'.:notworthy:

    So what exactly is the U.S. government protecting American's from?:what:

    I guess a better question is whom is the U.S. government actually protecting?

    My own take is that special interests have run amok since the Bush republicans took over in 2000. In his near 7 years in office now I can honestly say he has yet to serve me in any significant way. To date President Bush has served the needs of his family and friends only - not one regular American has benefited from his failed policies. His lies and hypocritical moral stances make me sick.:puke:

    The DoJ is merely an extension of the Bush machine :cheers:- just look at the issues surrounding the firings of Assistant Attorney Generals for proof.

    While to date I have not had much use for the WTO and its one world economy bologna I hope the European Union and the WTO put the squeeze:xxx to the US and force a significant change in the US policy with regard to Internet Gambling.

    I for one will not vote for a Replubican ever again (voted for a Congressman once years ago). They talk about small government then steal from you while they do more to control your lives beyond the purpose of good government.

    Additionally, I will be emailing every democratic candidate for President letting them know that I will not even consider voting for them unless they have a stance on Internet Gambling that I agree with.

    More people in the US need to get on board and make this an issue if we are to get back our rights, our country and our destiny.

    VOTE - because of you don't some pious, arrogant Bushite will.:D
     
    4 people like this.
  14. Jul 20, 2007
  15. GGW Laurie

    GGW Laurie Dormant account webmeister

    Occupation:
    Self Employed
    Location:
    In the Beautiful South !!
    im a registered republican does that make me bad as bush? not hardly.i have contacted all of my reps. for my state about online gaming. have you? a few bad apples dont make the whole tree rotten. im leaning for fred thompson or rudy g. personally, but i will not vote for the first one that says they will make gaming online legall the top agenda that would make me as big a goof as bush.some people in the us like to bitch about the goverment but yet they dont vote. i have never failed to vote in any election, that is my right and i will continue to do so.
     
    2 people like this.
  16. Jul 24, 2007
  17. Mousey

    Mousey Ueber Meister Mouse CAG

    Occupation:
    Pencil Pusher
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    Up$hitCreek
    Antigua takes U.S. to task

    It's good to see MSNBC pay attention to this.


    You must register/login in order to see the link. over online gambling
    Seeks $3.4 billion in sanctions from WTO because of restrictions
    The Associated Press
    Updated: 12:37 p.m. CT July 24, 2007
    GENEVA - The tiny Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda asked the World Trade Organization on Tuesday for the right to authorize $3.4 billion in commercial sanctions against the United States for its failure to comply with a WTO ruling against its Web gambling restrictions.

    Washington acknowledged that its online betting ban was ruled illegal by the WTO, but challenged Antigua's right to retaliate. The U.S. says it is in the process of rewriting its obligations under a 1994 WTO treaty, removing online gambling from the agreement.

    The U.S. also rejected the amount requested by Antigua as "patently excessive."

    "The level sought by Antigua and Barbuda is several times higher than Antigua and Barbuda's annual gross domestic product of all goods and services," U.S. trade lawyer Juan Millan told the WTO's dispute settlement body.

    The WTO set up an arbitration panel to rule on the matter.
    In March, the WTO ruled that the U.S. had the right to prevent offshore betting, as a means of protecting public order and public morals. But the trade body said it was illegal to target online gambling, without equally applying the rules to American operators offering remote betting on horse and dog racing.

    Antigua has been promoting gambling and other kinds of Internet commerce as a way .....
     
    3 people like this.
  18. Jul 25, 2007
  19. MarcyW

    MarcyW Dormant account

    Occupation:
    mom
    Location:
    midwest
    So nothing will change in the US right now though? Right?
     
  20. Jul 25, 2007
  21. Mousey

    Mousey Ueber Meister Mouse CAG

    Occupation:
    Pencil Pusher
    Location:
    Up$hitCreek
    Not anytime soon, I'm afraid. This will drag on for quite some time.
     
    1 person likes this.
  22. Jul 26, 2007
  23. USOS

    USOS Dormant account

    Occupation:
    longline captain
    Location:
    Florida
    Thompson is an affable Bush clone and Rudy is a fascist control freak.

    Ron Paul is the only one running in either party that isn't bought and paid for.
     
  24. Jul 30, 2007
  25. REOdeathwagon

    REOdeathwagon Experienced Member

    Occupation:
    cabdriver
    Location:
    arizona
    Amen
     
  26. Jul 31, 2007
  27. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    I know there's a long road yet for the candidates, but it looks as if Hillary Clinton is losing some momentum to Barack Obama in recent debates?

    Slick Willy himself seems to have commented on his wife's weekend tussle with Obama over diplomatic contacts in which Hillary called Obama "naive" while Obama referred to her as "Bush-Cheney lite."

    Addressing the Democratic Leadership Council, Big Slick said: "I don't want to get in the middle of that whole spat Hillary and Senator Obama had, but there's more than one way to practice diplomacy."

    He said all the major Democratic candidates had "a vigorous agreement on the big question, which is 'Should we have more diplomacy?' The answer is yes. Then you can parse their answers to the specific questions and decide who you think is right."

    "I've heard no fewer than four candidates in the last month remind us that in the middle of the Cold War, in the darkest hours, we never stopped talking to the Soviets at some level. So nobody disputes that. And we're going to have to do that," he said.

    Last Monday, Obama said he would meet with the leaders of Syria, Iran, Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea without preconditions, a notion Hillary Rodham Clinton rejected.

    She argued that she would not meet with leaders without knowing their intentions.
     
  28. Jul 31, 2007
  29. GGW Laurie

    GGW Laurie Dormant account webmeister

    Occupation:
    Self Employed
    Location:
    In the Beautiful South !!
    thompson has been around politics way longer than bush jr. and to even put him in the same sentence with bush is sorry:mad: rudy g. showed all americans what a true leader is when he walked down a rubble ridden detroyed city after 9-11 and brought this nation together as one. he gained my respect and to call him fascist and a control freak is also very sorry imo.:mad: when it comes time to vote ,ill be there!! will you?:)
     
  30. Aug 23, 2007
  31. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    Update

    Comprehensive article on the WTO dispute in today's International Herald Tribune:

    You must register/login in order to see the link.

    The International Herald Tribune

    Online gambling case pits Antigua against U.S. and challenges WTO

    By Gary Rivlin


    NEW YORK: With long blond hair reaching his shoulders and dozens of cloth bracelets peeking out from under his sleeves, Mark Mendel hardly conjures up the image of a typical lawyer.

    But then there is nothing run-of-the-mill about the case that Mendel, a Texan who was born and reared in Southern California, has been waging against his own government before the World Trade Organization.

    It is a clash that at once challenges Washington's attempt to prohibit online gambling while simultaneously testing the ability of the WTO to enforce its own standards.

    The dispute stretches back to 2003, when Mendel, 51, first persuaded officials in Antigua and Barbuda, a tiny nation in the Caribbean with a population of about 70,000, to make a trade complaint against the United States, claiming that its ban against Americans' gambling over the Internet violated Antigua's rights as a member of the WTO

    Antigua is best known to Americans for its pristine beaches. But the dozens of online casinos based there are vital to the island's economy, serving as a major employer.

    More than a few people in Washington initially dismissed as absurd the idea that the trade organization could claim jurisdiction over something as basic as a country's own policies toward gambling. Various states and the federal government, after all, have been deeply engaged for decades in where and when to allow casinos, Indian gambling halls, race tracks, lotteries and the like to operate.

    But a WTO panel ruled against the United States in 2004, and an appellate body upheld that decision one year later. In March, the organization upheld that ruling for a second time and declared Washington out of compliance with its rules. That has placed the United States in a quandary, said John Jackson, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center who specializes in international trade law.

    Complying with the WTO ruling, Jackson said, would require Congress and the Bush administration either to reverse course and permit Americans to legally place bets online from offshore casinos or, equally unlikely, impose an across-the-board ban on all forms of Internet gambling - including the online purchase of lottery tickets, participation in Web-based pro sports fantasy leagues and off-track wagering on horse racing.

    But not complying with the decision presents big problems of its own for Washington. That is because Mendel, who is claiming $3.4 billion in damages on behalf of Antigua, has asked the trade organization to grant a rare form of compensation if the U.S. government refuses to accept the ruling: permission for Antiguans to legally violate intellectual property laws by allowing them to distribute copies of U.S. music, movie and software products, among others.

    For the WTO itself, the decision is equally fraught with peril. It cannot back down because that would undermine its credibility with the rest of the world. But if it actually carries out the penalties, it risks a political backlash in the United States, the most powerful force for free-flowing global trade and the WTO's biggest backer.

    "Think of this from the W.T.O's point of view," said Charles Nesson, a professor at Harvard Law School and a founder of Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society. "They're this fledgling organization dominated by a huge monster in the United States. People there must be scared out of their wits at the prospects of enforcing a ruling that would instantly galvanize public opinion in the United States against the WTO"

    In April 2005, the trade body gave the United States one year to comply with its ruling, but that deadline passed with little more than a statement from Washington that it had reviewed its laws and decided that it had been in compliance all along. The case is now before an arbitration body charged with assessing damages.

    "The stakes here are enormous," Nesson added.

    If anything, the Bush administration raised those stakes in May when it announced that it was removing gambling services from existing trade agreements. John Veroneau, a deputy trade representative, said that the federal government was only "clarifying our view" that it never meant to include online gambling in any free trade agreements.

    "It is truly untenable to think that we would knowingly bargain away something that has been illegal for decade upon decade in this country," Veroneau said.

    He added that Washington was not defying the WTO but simply pursuing its case through all legal channels.

    The WTO allowed that Washington probably did not intend to include online gambling when it agreed to the inclusion of "recreational services" and other similar language in agreements reached during the early 1990s. But the organization says it has no choice but to enforce the plain language of the pacts.

    (Page 2 of 3)
    One reason for all the interest is the David-and-Goliath aspect of the case. Another is that the dispute, as the WTO's first to deal with the Internet, is likely to serve as a major precedent in establishing rules of commerce in an online age and dealing with such prickly issues as China's attempts to block online content it finds offensive.

    Yet another reason the fraternity of trade lawyers and experts is so closely watching the case, said Lode Van Den Hende, an international trade lawyer with the firm of Herbert Smith in Brussels, is "that the U.S. is not behaving as one would expect."

    "One day they're out there saying how scandalous it is that China doesn't respect WTO decisions," Van Den Hende said. "But then the next day there's a dispute that doesn't go their way and their attitude is: The decision is completely wrong, these judges don't know what they're doing, why should we comply?"

    It is not clear that Mendel knew just how much of a hornet's nest he would stir up with this case. But he certainly seems to be enjoying the attention.

    In 2002, Mendel - who does not gamble and knew little about international trade - was little more than an ordinary corporate lawyer in El Paso specializing in securities law. His law partner, though, was friends with Jay Cohen, the operator of an offshore sports book in Antigua, who had been sentenced to 21 months in prison for taking bets over the Internet from Americans. Mr. Cohen asked his old friend to see if there was anything his firm could do.

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    "I had not done any trade law whatsoever but for whatever reason this issue really struck my curiosity," Mendel said. Beyond the intellectual challenge, the case also offered the prospect of a set of deep-pocketed clients in the online casinos doing business out of Antigua.

    So Mendel, who recently moved his family and his practice to Ireland to be closer to Geneva, jumped in enthusiastically.

    Washington responded to Antigua's complaint by claiming it was within its rights to seek to block online gambling on moral grounds, just as any Muslim country would be within its rights under international trade agreements to ban the import of alcoholic beverages. The WTO rejected this argument as inconsistent with U.S. policy.

    The general rule in the world of international trade agreements is that a country must treat foreign goods and services in the same manner as it treats domestic ones. The United States, the trade body found, permits online wagering through sites like Youbet.com, a publicly-traded company that allows visitors to place bets at horse racing tracks around the globe.

    And of course some form of casino gambling is legal in more than 30 states and even local governments advertise gambling services when states run ads encouraging people to buy a lottery ticket.

    "This isn't a case of forcing gambling on a population that has decided they don't like it," Mendel said. "This is the world's biggest consumer and exporter of gambling services trying to prohibit a small country from developing its economy by offering these same services. And we find that deeply hypocritical."

    Indeed, despite all the obstacles Washington has imposed, including making it a crime for banks and credit card companies to handle Internet gambling payments, millions of Americans still manage to play poker and place sports bets online. Many more would certainly do so if the obstacles were removed.

    The United States has exhausted its appeals, so now Mendel and trade lawyers for the United States are arguing over the extent of damages that Antigua has suffered.

    Antigua presents a particularly thorny challenge. To balance the scales, a country that wins a WTO case typically demands trade penalties equal to its losses as compensation. But Antigua is so small that any ordinary trade sanctions would barely register in the United States.

    "Compensation is not a check in the mail," said Jackson, the Georgetown professor. "It's the right to raise trade barriers against the country in violation." Whatever trade barriers Antigua constructed, he said, "would feel like a pin prick."

    Antigua is seeking the right under international law to violate American intellectual property laws.

    Only once has the trade organization done so, with Ecuador, though it never actually took advantage of that power. It was used instead as a cudgel to force its opponent to back down.


    (Page 3 of 3)
    "This is all new territory," said Simon Lester, who worked in the appeals division of the WTO before co-founding WorldTradeLaw.net, which provides legal analysis of trade law disputes.

    Lester said he expected Hollywood, the music industry and software makers like Microsoft to press Washington to work things out with Antigua.

    "But the question" he said, "is whether that would be enough to make Congress do something."
     
    2 people like this.
  32. Aug 23, 2007
  33. tennis_balls

    tennis_balls Dormant account

    Occupation:
    fish n chips promoter
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    i see the antigua group continues to mention youbet.com. that site looks like it no longer accessible from USA? what's to stop the USA from merely stopping the sale of lotto tickets online and the like? is the reason USA can't go this route is that it would be an admission of fault?

    i'm rooting for little Antigua in this one, but I fully expect the US to find some greasy way to weasel out of any major penalty.
     
  34. Aug 23, 2007
  35. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
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    Location:
    Earth
    There's too much to lose in withdrawing the exemptions imo, and as a consequence the US seems to have embarked firmly on the hard-ass route of simply withdrawing its obligations and to hell with the repercussions despite significant international criticism.

    The NFL, NBA et al seem to have ambitions on fantasy sports which might account for that exemption as a "skill game" - certainly the national US sports bodies have been implacable in their opposition to online gambling, partnering with anyone who will back their opposition, which has made for some interesting alliances.

    Abandoning the lotteries exemptions or even requiring them to eschew online sales would cause all sorts of state authority ructions, based I speculate mainly on the mouth-watering amounts of state revenues these generate, so there's an influential sector that doesn't want to lose out right there.

    And online gambling's other serious opponent is the US horse racing industry, which wields substantial state and national lobby influence, is flagrantly exploiting the online gambling environment for significant reward due to its carve-out and will strenuously oppose any attempt to change its very advantageous position.
     
    1 person likes this.
  36. Aug 23, 2007
  37. tennis_balls

    tennis_balls Dormant account

    Occupation:
    fish n chips promoter
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    i see that i can now access youbet. apparently they were just down for maintenance at the time i tried earlier. judging by youbet's stock chart: You must register/login in order to see the link. the future of online horse-racing is not looking bright
     
  38. Aug 23, 2007
  39. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
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    Location:
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    Heh! Small beer - but the big land track sector is piling in, and not long ago one racing association was talking about extending online activities to other areas of gambling interest!
     

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