Saturday, October 13, 2007

U.S. to Owe $100 Billion Gambling Debt?


A Brussels think-tank has accused the US government of reneging on commitments made to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) over internet gaming.

Panellists at a trade forum levelled harsh criticism at the US, focusing on a burgeoning trade clash between the US and Europe over internet gaming.

The forum believes that the US could be liable for up to US$100 billion in trade concessions to European industries after placing illegal discriminatory trade restrictions on European gaming operators.

The disputed concessions arise from Antigua's victory earlier this year when the WTO ruled that the US violated its treaty obligations by excluding online Antiguan gaming operators, while allowing domestic operators to offer various forms of online gaming.

Instead of complying with the ruling, the Bush administration withdrew the sizeable gambling industry from its free trade commitments.

As a result, all 151 WTO members are considering seeking compensation for the withdrawal equal to the size of the entire US land-based and online gaming market, estimated at nearly US$100 billion.

The European Union, along with India and five other countries, has filed notice that it intends to seek compensation.

What are they going to do if we don't pay, break our Florida? Cut off our Maine with a cigar cutter?

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