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Antigua and Barbados go before the WTO

The tiny islands of Antigua and Barbados will go before the WTO on Friday and explain the $3.4 billion claim it filed against the United States last month. The $3.4 billion is just a preliminary claim for the amount they believe they are entitled to because of US non-compliance. They still have yet to file a claim that addresses the US withdrawal from the 1995 General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) treaty which allows international access to the US online gaming market.

The European Union has already filed a $15 billion claim against the US for withdrawing from GATS. Most observers believe the second claim will be about the size of the initial claim, bring the total to about $7 billion.

Elsewhere Newsday New York ran a piece entitled “Time To Regulate Internet Gambling” on Wednesday in an effort to get Congress to debate the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act. The bill, introduced by Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA), would regulate Internet gambling and require licensed operators to put in place safeguards to protect against underage and compulsive gambling as well as ensure Internet gambling financial transactions.

Washington should accept the WTO ruling, permit Internet gambling and do all it can to protect American consumers that wish to gamble online.