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    Default Antigua Anticipates Favorable Ruling on Trade Issue

    Press Release Source: World Poker Exchange


    Antigua Anticipates Favorable Ruling on Trade Issue
    Wednesday March 30, 7:54 pm ET
    Small Nation Takes ``David'' Stance against US' ``Goliath''


    ANTIGUA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 30, 2005--The small nation of Antigua and Barbuda could experience the proverbial "David versus Goliath scenario" come April 7th when the World Trade Organization's (WTO) trade ruling is announced. If the ruling goes as projected, it will be the first time a small country has defeated the United States in the world's increasingly important and respected international trade court.
    If the original November 2004 WTO ruling is upheld, the US will face compliance issues requiring the US government to address in a reasoned fashion its approach to online gaming rather than simply prohibiting it altogether. "Most important will be the validation of Antiguan businesses' right to trade with the large US internet gaming market," explained Ron Maginley, spokesman for the Antigua Offshore Gaming Association, an industry trade group.

    "This form of entertainment is widely recognized and accepted in many parts of the world--especially Europe," added Maginley. "Antigua is confident in the professionalism of its operators and asks only for fair and reasonable access to the immense United States domestic gambling market."

    Antiguan officials anticipate that major US companies, including Citibank, Chase Manhattan, Bank of America, Clear Channel Communication, and Bravo TV, may soon find themselves required to comply with the WTO ruling legitimizing trade between Antiguan online gaming companies and the US market. In recent years, many American companies have turned away business from Antiguan gambling companies after receiving subpoenas or threats of prosecution from the US Justice Department and prosecutors such as New York Attorney General Elliot Spitzer.

    Following the November 2004 announcement of Antigua's win before a WTO panel, the United States in January appealed the adverse ruling to the seven-member Appellate Body of the WTO. The hearing before the Appellate Body is seen by Antiguans as a "final hurdle in a lengthy and unprecedented legal battle," explained Mark Mendel, the lead legal counsel for Antigua in the dispute.

    "Despite intense skepticism from virtually every quarter, our case is extremely strong and deceptively simple," added Mendel. "We have long been optimistic that the impartial dispute resolution machinery of the WTO would function as expected, justice will be served and potential compliance issues facing various US corporations and the US Department of Justice will be resolved in a manner which is favorable to fair and responsible international commerce."

    The Antiguans have argued that it is inappropriate to treat businesses conducting transactions online as unequal to or somehow worse than traditional brick-and-mortar operations, or for the US government to assume lack of industry integrity without any objective evidence.

    Previous speculation in the US media suggested that even if Antigua, one of the smallest members of the WTO, wins the case, it cannot impose meaningful trade sanctions against the US. However, Antigua remains quietly confident with the knowledge that the US will adhere to the WTO ruling with the same vigor that it has demanded of other countries when it has won similar WTO rulings.

    Mendel predicted that a decision to uphold the original WTO ruling will ultimately result in US companies making accommodations to Antiguan gambling operators. "At the end of the day," said Mendel, "we expect major internet search engines, including Google and Yahoo, financial institutions and credit card service providers will have to do business with Antiguan internet gaming sites on the same basis as they do with US domestic gaming interests, including hundreds of American casinos, prolific state lotteries and many others."

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    Antiguan officials anticipate that major US companies, including Citibank, Chase Manhattan, Bank of America, Clear Channel Communication, and Bravo TV, may soon find themselves required to comply with the WTO ruling legitimizing trade between Antiguan online gaming companies and the US market.
    How cool would that be after all the BS lately?

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    Wouldn't it be nice?? To finally find out that peoples' money is their own to spend when they want?

    But do you think DOJ will try to stop it?
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    I hope the US doesn't only follow WTO when it rules in it's favor... Or find some other loophole to satisfy the ruling without changing anything. Sometimes I wonder about our government here... I have very little faith in them doing the right thing when it isn't what they want.

    THe CasinoCity lawsuit is stalled a bit, so we really need this!
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    "At the end of the day," said Mendel, "we expect major internet search engines, including Google and Yahoo, financial institutions and credit card service providers will have to do business with Antiguan internet gaming sites on the same basis as they do with US domestic gaming interests, including hundreds of American casinos, prolific state lotteries and many others."
    Could this facilitate a return of PPC advertising targeting US players as a result?

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    The US has been arrogant and presumptious in believing it could rule the internet with its pseudomoralism. Let's keep our fingers & toes crossed!

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    To answer your PPC question. That is unlikely, but I hope I'm wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WebMeisterQ
    To answer your PPC question. That is unlikely, but I hope I'm wrong.
    Me too!

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    To answer your PPC question. That is unlikely, but I hope I'm wrong.
    Actually, I think what they are saying is they will HAVE to allow the ads, or face some restraint of trade problems.

    I think what's more likely is that the US will either ignore it, fight it, or find some other way not to comply. Sad, but probably true. We don't have much respect for people with different ideas than us.

    Either way, it will help a lot in the long haul even if the US doesn't comply. It's another positive step to true regulation.
    The more legit this business gets, the harder it will be for the US to prolong the enevitable reality that they can't, and SHOULDN'T win this one, and start introducing some bills so they can get their cut of the pie.

    God knows, we're going to need the money at the rate we're going thru it these days!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCPA
    God knows, we're going to need the money at the rate we're going thru it these days!

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    I don't think Google and Yahoo will have any problem making themselves available to start receiving funds from gambling advertisers again. It was just cheaper to ban it and not risk expensive lawsuits from the DOJ.

    The US has an ego problem that frustrates many of it's residents. Someone needs to put our officials in their place.
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    The US has an ego problem that frustrates many of it's residents. Someone needs to put our officials in their place
    Yup, you need to get Jeb Bush as the next president
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    Oh god only in a perfect world would we see this. oh boy.....
    Sometimes you just gotta say, "What the f**k, make your move." - Risky Business
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    This is the only thing I did not like

    If the original November 2004 WTO ruling is upheld, the US will face compliance issues requiring the US government to address in a reasoned fashion its approach to online gaming rather than simply prohibiting it altogether. "Most important will be the validation of Antiguan businesses' right to trade with the large US internet gaming market," explained Ron Maginley, spokesman for the Antigua Offshore Gaming Association, an industry trade group.


    One, Antigua sounds like they need to somehow show that the US market is a valid market for them in the first place. From what I hear and have read about the wire act then Antigua faces a very big up hill battle on that. AM I MISSING SOMETHING? someone help me out if I am.

    Two, could mean to me that the us will need to do sime kind of total ban on online gambling or stop the grey area crap. I think that the us would hurry a law into action that would make online gambling or taking money from online casinos a federal offence.

    Just my 3am thought <0 boy its late
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    From what I hear and have read about the wire act then Antigua faces a very big up hill battle on that. AM I MISSING SOMETHING?
    The Wire Act applies to Sportsbetting only, and even that's a little sketchy when it comes to the Internet.
    A court ruled several years ago that the Wire Act does not apply to Online Casinos.

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    I think anyone who thinks the bush administration will care about a WTO ruling doesn't follow US politics much. Also the notion that US corporations will suddenly start challenging US law, because of a favorite WTO ruling is also wishful thinking.

    The only court ruling that will affect federal policy would be a US court ruling. We've also seen the last few weeks how the congress will create special laws when they don't like court rulings.

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    Too true. That is the sentiment I was trying to express as well. However, the US has to pick it's battles and I'm not sure where this stands on that list.
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    Yep, that's pretty right on unfortunately.
    What an arrogant bunch we are sometimes.

    It's still extremely important though. It gives our business merit, and it also would provide some excellent "Legs" for us to stand on if we ever did have to face a Judge over how we choose to spend our money, or make a living.

    While the Congress, and the Pres. can play politics, the Judicial system itself will follow the law itself as we also witnessed when they rebuffed Congress and the President. One Supreme court Judge was fairly vocal, and assailed the law as Unconstitutional.

    So, while I agree that some will trivialize this, it's still a major ruling that will help a great deal in our fight to legitimize the industry within the US.

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    Not that this fits in but we are about to pay $3.00 a gal for gas.

    Hmmmmm

    I just wonder when everyone will finally get sick of it and say enough is enough. The government has such a good marketing team that it makes me sick. I think its slick how they are giving us the knowledge that gas prices will go up to $3.00 while they slowly raise the gas price every week after all they dont want to shock us we might actaully start to get mad. I am not a marketing major but it seems like a tacktic to me.

    Bah! Lets just cross our fingers and hope for the best.
    Legalization of my girlfriend Merry, regulation on internet gambling, a governement that actually cares about the people and not how much money can be made for the small few that actually run this government. What a perfect world that would be.
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    Over in the UK our petrol is the equivalent of about $7.50/gallon and it has been around this price for a long, long time. We get *very* heavily taxed on petrol over here. I'm all for a drop in world petrol/oil prices!

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