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United States Condemns WTO for Authorizing Piracy to Antigua over Gaming Restrictions

United States officials have stated that they intend to act against a decision passed by the World Trade Organization six years ago. The World Trade Organization authorized the small nation of Antigua and Barbuda to pirate more than $20 million worth of United States intellectual property rights after the United States passed laws banning online gambling.

Antigua said that the United States violated the General Agreement in Trade and Service (GATS) passed by the World Trade Organization in 1995. They allege that the GATS included provisions for online gambling, which the United States violated when it prohibited gaming providers from offering their services to U.S. citizens.

U.S. officials said that the inclusion of online gaming was introduced by mistake when the industry was first born. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act wasn’t passed for over a decade after the United States joined the GATS.

The United States has protested the moral basis of these laws since the beginning of the century. They have raised several hearings with the World Trade Organization since they first joined the new treaty. The WTO has rejected every complaint that they have filed.

Antigua waited six years before considering enforcing the WTO’s decision. They hoped that they could negotiate a settlement with the United States instead. However, they have engaged in countless meetings with U.S. officials failed to lead to a compromise both countries would agree to.

Antiguan officials tried to bring the matter up again in last month’s WTO meeting. They were unable to get their concerns on the docket, but the WTO has agreed to hear their position before the end of the month.

The United States has said that it intends to help resolve the issue. Officials claim that they have already settled with several other countries that have copied Antigua’s argument. However, they also said that Antigua has refused to accept every offer they have tendered and the Caribbean nation needs to accept responsibility for the failed negotiations.

 

This blog entry was posted on Tuesday, January 29th, 2013 at 1:11 am and is filed under Casino News.

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