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Law professor to speak on US online ban

11 Feb 2008

DON, England -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- Harvard Law School Professor Charles Nesson will speak on the implications for free trade and Internet freedom of the United States' ban on online gambling, at a seminar sponsored by the Institute of Economic Affairs, on Tuesday, February 12, in London.

Professor Nesson, a tenured faculty member at Harvard for more than three decades and the founder of the Global Poker Strategic Thinking Society (GPSTS), will be joined at the seminar by Dr. Sallie James, a Policy Analyst at the Centre for Trade Policy Studies and the Cato Institute, and Lode Van Den Hende, a Senior Associate of Herbert Smith LLP, based in Brussels, specializing in E.U. competition and regulation. The seminar will be chaired by John Blundell, the Director General and Ralph Harris Fellow of the IEA.

The Seminar, "The Bush Administration's Criminalization of Online Gaming and the Implication for Global Free Trade," will be open to the media and to take place at 6:30 pm in The Arthur Seldon Room, at 2 Lord North Street, Westminster, SW1 (door on Great Peter Street.) RSVP to IEA Reception by emailing

One of the oldest and preeminent British think-tanks advocating Free Trade and classical Liberal policies, the IEA has a longstanding interest in government policy towards online gaming.

The ongoing W.T.O. dispute between the U.S., the E.U. and several nations has taken a new turn following a Trade Barrier Regulation complaint filed against the U.S. by the Remote Gambling Association, Europe's leading trade association of online gaming operators. The European Commission has until February 29 to respond to the complaint, which alleges that the U.S. protects domestic online operators while prohibiting non-U.S. operators.

Professor Nesson said: "The conflict between the U.S. government and the online community over online poker and other forms of betting will not go away. There is growing concern about its impact on global trade, domestic U.S. law, and Internet freedom and regulation."

Among the topics seminar speakers will address are:

* The complaint filed by the Remote Gambling Association in December 2007 with the European Commission against the U.S. for discrimination based on violations of W.T.O. rules, asserting that the U.S. Department of Justice is in violation of international law by threatening and pressing criminal prosecutions and other actions against foreign online gaming operators while allowing domestic U.S. gaming operators to flourish.

* The implications for the global trade system, should an affirmative finding for Europe be produced by February 29, 2008 deadline.

* The potential for Costa Rica's January 28, 2008 filing for W.T.O. arbitration against the U.S. to upset the agreement between in U.S. and the E.U.

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