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WTO Eyes U.S. Offshore Web Gambling Ban

10 Nov 2004

GENEVA --As reported by the Associated Press: "In a ruling that could open the United States to offshore Internet gambling, a World Trade Organization panel Wednesday said Washington should drop prohibitions on Americans placing bets in online casinos.

"In its final 287-page report, the WTO panel confirmed the preliminary ruling it issued in March in a dispute pitting the United States against the tiny Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda, saying the ban represented an unfair trade barrier.

"U.S. diplomats in Geneva said they would contest the ruling before the WTO's seven-member appeals body.

"Antigua filed a case before the WTO last year. It contended that U.S. restrictions on Internet gambling violated trade commitments the United States has made as a member of the 148-nation WTO.

"U.S. trade officials disagreed, saying that negotiators involved in the Uruguay Round of global trade talks, which created the WTO in 1995, clearly intended to exclude gambling..."

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