U.S. confirms loss of WTO trade case

The final report from the World Trade Organization (WTO) won't be out until March, but officials in the United States have confirmed that the WTO panel ruled against the nation in its online gambling dispute with Antigua and Barbuda.

Reuters reported that Gretchen Hamel, a spokeswoman fro the U.S. Trade Representative's office, confirmed Thursday that the WTO did not agree that the nation had taken the necessary steps to comply with its ruling about the online gambling situation.

The case has been ongoing since March 2003 when Antigua and Barbuda took their argument to the WTO that the U.S.'s online gambling restrictions went against trade agreements they'd made when joining the WTO.

Previously the WTO ruled in favor of Antigua and Barbuda and told the United States it needed to come into compliance.

Since then the United States has argued that they believe they are in compliance, and they've also passed new legislation, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, into law that further inhibits the industry.

The WTO panel's latest decision was released as part of a preliminary, confidential report to the two parties involved. The United States will have an opportunity to submit comments to the WTO before the final public report is issued in March.

Once the final panel decision is released, the U.S. will then decide if it is going to appeal.

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Antigua Consults with Third-Parties About Online Gambling Dispute
Online Gambling Legislation May Strengthen Antigua's Case
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