WTO online gambling ruling against US upheld
By paul
Antigua and Barbuda’s victory against the US has been confirmed by the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which has upheld its initial ruling against the US on Internet gambling, according to an unnamed US trade official.

A US trade official, who wished to remain anonymous reportedly said a WTO panel’s final report was “largely unchanged” from its initial ruling against the US ban on Internet gambling a month ago.

'We intend to appeal and will argue vigorously that this deeply flawed panel report must be corrected by the (WTO) appellate body,' the official said. Similar remarks were made last month by US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick.

The WTO panel ruled that the US ban on Internet, telephone and other remote gambling services was in breach of its WTO commitments, according to diplomatic sources in Geneva.

The US’s case was that the gambling ban was legal under WTO rules that allow national exceptions for laws designed to protect public morals and public order.

The panel agreed the US prohibitions fell under the exceptional rules, the diplomatic sources said. However, the panel said the US had not pursued good faith negotiations with Antigua that could have agreed alternatives to the ban consistent with WTO rules, the sources said.

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