|Antigua and Barbuda, the Caribbean island nation, won a World Trade Organization ruling that US legislation criminalizing online betting violates global laws.|
The 287-page ruling claimed the prohibition on betting in offshore internet casinos represented an unfair trade barrier against the tiny Caribbean nation. US diplomats in Geneva said they would appeal the ruling.
The ruling was the result of a year-long dispute as to whether the US was violating trade agreements made when the nation joined the WTO. America claimed gambling was to be excluded from the agreement which was entered into in 1995, but Antiguan authorities claimed the US ban was harming the country’s effort to diversify its economy from tourism. Approximately 3,000 of the 67,000 residents of Antigua are employed by online casinos.
Washington has 60 days to file an appeal to the WTO’s trade judges, who then must file a final ruling within three months.