Wednesday, November 03, 2004Contact: Maurits Bruggink
WTO dispute on online gaming

The US and Antigua & Barbuda broke off their talks to come to a settlement in the dispute over US restrictions on online gaming. A ruling by the WTO Dispute Settlement Body seems eminent.

Whereas most countries, like the EU or Japan, explicitly excluded gambling services from WTO rules, there is some ambiguity as to whether the US did this properly according to WTO definitions. The WTO ruling is expected to condemn the US gambling restrictions for not being conform its WTO committments.

A WTO ruling is expected by the end of this or early next week. The US authorities confirmed to IFHA that it is certainly going to appeal a negative ruling for the US. An appeal procedure may take up to 90 days, but the starting date for this period could be delayed.

As IFHA, we support the integrity of a country to define its own gaming laws. Operators who wish to offer betting services to people living in another country will have to respect the laws of that country, including prohibitions.

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