Monday, June 12, 2006
WTO gambling dispute for panel again

The U.S. and Antigua and Barbuda agreed to go back to the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organisation regarding their dispute on gambling services.

The Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), which can make binding rulings on world trade, ruled last year in the dispute between the two countries on the compatibility of U.S. laws restricting online gaming with its WTO commitments. According to Antigua, the U.S. committed under the WTO agreement to open up its online gambling market to foreign service providers. The DSB agreed with Antigua to a certain extend but added that WTO member states could make exceptions to their commitments if public order and public morals were threatened.

The U.S. had until April 2006 to comply with the DSB ruling. The ruling, however, is interpreted differently by the two parties and the U.S. now claims it complied (leaving the situation as it was) and Antigua disagrees.

What parties did agree now is that the DSB should decide whether the U.S. complied or not. A ruling on this is not expected before the end of this year.