|The World Trade Organisation has found the United States to be in violation of its commercial service accords with respect to its position on internet gambling in Antigua. The tiny Caribbean nation filed a complaint a year ago following American legislation effectively banning online gaming.|
Antigua’s economy has relied heavily on jobs and revenue created by its offshore casino industry following a recent decline in tourism. Sir Ronald Sanders, Antigua’s Ambassador to the WTO said that before the ban, the industry employed 5,000 people in 119 companies which dropped to 1,000 in 30 companies afterwards.
Although the decision currently only applies to Antigua and no other gaming jurisdiction, it represents a significant legal landmark and is sure to have wider ramifications for a worldwide market eager to establish cross-border trading rights.
Sir Ronald told Reuters today that he was delighted with outcome, adding, “It is also a victory for the WTO’s disputes procedures, because it shows that a small country can get redress within the system.”
Washington has said that it will appeal against the decision.