U.S. clarifies gambling ban to avoid WTO sanctions

The U.S. is looking to World Trade Organization procedure to explain its online gambling ban following the body's March ruling that the country's laws unfairly target offshore casinos.

The WTO process would allow the U.S. to clarify its stance on the issue so there would be no basis for any WTO member to seek or expect compensation, a U.S. trade representative told the Associated Press Friday.

This comes after the WTO ruled that offshore casinos were at a disadvantage because of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act passed by the U.S. in October - a measure that prevents banks and credit card companies from processing transactions to gambling firms outside the U.S.

The Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda says it has been unfairly targeted by the ban, which affects the hundreds of citizens in the country who work in the gambling industry.

Washington can maintain the anti-gambling law if it is applied equally to remote betting on horse racing, the global trade mediator ruled.

"U.S. federal and state laws have banned interstate gambling for decades, therefore it would be nonsensical for the U.S. to make a comittment to open up interstate gambling for foreign providers when it was unlawful for U.S. providers," trade representative John K. Veroneau told the Associated Press.

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Antigua Toughens Up Online Gambling Regulations
WTO Maintains U.S. Gambling Ban Illegal

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