|The US Department of Justice has turned a minor legal problem limited to interstate horseracing into a major headache on all aspects of remote wagering including purely intrastate betting on horseracing, dog racing and possibly poker.|
This is the opinion of Nelson Rose, Professor of Law at California’s Whittier Law School and founder of GamblingAndTheLaw.com, who stated that a decision against the US by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) over the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) treaty was not that bad but had been made worse by the American’s unwillingness to change.
In 2005 a case brought by Antigua, the WTO ruled that America must allow international cross-border betting on horseracing as it allowed local wagers under the Interstate Horseracing Act. However, Congress did nothing, allowing time for Antigua to find ways to introduce all forms of intrastate gambling allowed into the US, precipitating sanctions or possibly a big payout for the small island nation.
“I would have given a law student a D grade if they had done what the Department of Justice did and that’s only because I don’t like to fail anyone,” said Rose.
“Imagine a student turning in a paper containing a very weak argument. The professor gives the paper a poor grade and explains why the argument won’t work. The professor then gives an assignment of explaining what changes the client has to make in the way it does business. The student now takes a year to answer and instead of stating what changes have to be made the student says that the client is now in complete compliance because it deserved to win.
“This is what the Department of Justice did and it is hard to conceive of a lawyer making the same losing arguments again in front of the same judges.”