|Monday, August 22, 2005||Contact: Maurits Bruggink|
+33.1.56 09 93 40
|U.S. to comply with WTO gaming ruling by April 2006|
Antigua and U.S. failed to agree on when the WTO gambling ruling (Antigua and Barbuda against the United States in the dispute "U.S. Measures Affecting the Cross-Border Supply of Gambling and Betting Services" (WT/DS285/13), has to be implemented.
Following this disagreement, the WTO appointed an arbitrator to define "the reasonable period of time" by which the U.S. has to change its laws to comply with the WTO ruling. On 19 August, the arbitrator set the time on 3 April 2006 in a binding arbitration.
Reacting to the arbitration, a government spokesperson repeated the United States’ intention to comply with the WTO findings, but added that it would not aim to weaken U.S. restrictions on Internet gambling.
Should the U.S. fail to comply with the ruling by April 2006, it could be retaliated, for example through extra tariffs on its exports to Antigua. However, like it is the case with similar disputes between small countries trying to retaliate against larger ones, any retaliation by Antigua would mainly harm its own interests. With the lack of pressure, the U.S. is therefore not expected to make major changes to its gaming and betting laws quickly.
The arbitrators decision can be found at: http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/285arb_13_e.doc A summary of the dispute can be found at: http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/cases_e/ds285_e.htm
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