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World Trade Organization pursues Net gambling case; U.S. doesn't look good


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [Politech] Passenger list screening may have led to 
BetOnSports CEO's arrest [priv]
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2006 13:51:36 -0500
From: Jim Davidson <davidson@net1.net>
Reply-To: davidson@net1.net
To: Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
References: <44BFBFE3.2030909@well.com>

Dear Declan,

An interesting wrinkle in this story is the World Trade Organization
pursuing the breach of trade rules by the USA in this 'net gambling
fiasco.

> are vulnerable to extradition to the United States. "Internet gambling
> companies in Britain, in any country, anywhere, if they do business in the
> United States they do so today at their own risk," a Justice Department
> spokesman told The Times. "This is a crime and it can be prosecuted." [...]

It is not a crime in the countries where the servers are operated.
It is not a crime in the countries where payments are received.
It is not a crime in the countries where bets are placed.

And it is a complete stretch of the imagination to suppose that it is a
crime in the USA.  Only by misinterpreting a narrowly written law on
communications technology of forty years ago can the Injustice Dept.
misconstrue the self-evident text to make a crime out of nothing.

If the USA government were not so deeply indebted to the mafia,
they wouldn't be protecting the storefront casinos of the mafia
with this idiocy.

The WTO story:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/business/5195638.stm

excerpts:

"US laws banning interstate betting over the internet will be examined
by the World Trade Organization (WTO).

"The Caribbean state of Antigua and Barbuda, host to many online
casinos, has been in a long-running battle with the US over the legality
of its stance.

"The WTO earlier found that some of the US laws were not in line with
trade rules, though others were permissible.

"The Antiguan authorities asked for the panel to be set up after
negotiations with the US broke down.

"The panel has 90 days to report on how the US is complying with earlier
WTO rulings.

"Trade partners who fail to implement WTO rulings often find themselves
hit by sanctions - for example, extra tariffs on their exports.

"Antigua and Barbuda says the prohibitions are hampering the country's
economy.

"It has invested heavily in the industry in a bid to lessen its reliance
on the tourism sector.

"It says three US laws are preventing companies from legally accepting
bets from the US.

"The WTO announcement comes during a week of turmoil for the online
gambling industry, after the boss of Betonsports was detained in the US
on charges of racketeering."


Posted by Declan McCullagh on Jul 20, 2006 in category economics


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