|According to Bloomberg, the United States has, as expected, last week appealed against the World Trade Organization’s ruling that its stance towards online gaming violates global trade agreements. Last November the tiny Caribbean island of Antigua won its case against the US, with WTO Arbiters stating: “The U.S. measures prohibit online gambling in a manner inconsistent with the Geneva-based trade body's rules. We have not decided that WTO members do not have a right to regulate, including a right to prohibit, gambling and betting activities.”|
Despite being the world’s biggest consumer of internet gambling, America has said that the decision will not force it to change its gambling legislation. The US has even stated that, should its appeal not be upheld, it could ‘alter its commitments’ to the WTO.
Lode Van Den Hende, a trade lawyer at Herbert Smith in Brussels who represented Antigua in the case, told Bloomberg that: “The U.S. could consider changing its commitments, but the question is whether that would be easy or wise in the broader context' of rules governing commercial services, because it would reduce faith in the system.”