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Still divided over Internet gaming

rhondathompson, [email protected]

Still divided over Internet gaming

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ST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – The Antigua and Barbuda government has expressed disappointment at the decision by United States authorities to arrest and indict a number of individuals engaged in on line internet gaming.
Finance and Economy Minister Harold Lovell described the indictments as the latest efforts by Washington to shut off competition in remote gaming in violation of international law.
“I am concerned that at this point in time United States authorities continue to prosecute non-domestic suppliers of remote gaming services in clear contravention of International law.
“I am not aware of any other situation where a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has subjected persons to criminal prosecution under circumstances where the WTO has expressly ruled that to do so is in breach of an International treaty,” Lovell said.
The two countries are at loggerheads over the issue of internet on line gaming with St. John’s seeking to recover millions of dollars in lost revenue based on a WTO ruling that Washington has not yet fully accepted.
 “The WTO ruled that these kinds of laws criminalizing the provision of remote gaming services are contrary to the obligations of the United States under the WTO agreements,” said Antigua’s legal counsel in the WTO matter, Mark Mendel.
“The United States, being a very heavy user of the WTO rules to its own benefit, simply cannot continue to prosecute persons for engaging in legitimate International commerce,” said Mendel.
He said there have been recent initiatives to authorise remote gaming in various American states and the proliferation of state sanctioned gambling in America generally.(CMC)