US Confirms Loss in Online Casino Trade Case
By Jon Young
The US has suffered a new setback in a four-year-old legal battle with Antigua and Barbuda over US restrictions on online gambling.

At issue is an April 2005 World Trade Organization ruling against US prohibitions on online horse race betting. Since then, the US Congress has passed additional legislation to ban online gambling and online poker over the Internet.

Gretchen Hamel, a spokesman for the US Trade Representative's office, confirmed press reports that a WTO panel “did not agree with the United States that we had taken the necessary steps to comply with that ruling.”

The Bush administration supports free trade but its conservative allies in Congress pushed through a bill late last year to ban most forms of Internet gambling.

It remains to be seen where the bill now stands after the WTO’s ruling.

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