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  1. #1
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    Default US offers concessions in WTO case

    The US has offered something in the range of $500,000 to Antigua in concessions in response to its loss in the WTO case, according to multiple sources.

    It has also offered to "open storage warehouse services and technical testing sectors" to EU markets for the same reasons ... Buzzy's betting that Antigua rejects this right off the bat, but he's not informed enough to make a guess on the EU.

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    Here's an article in the Antigua Sun about the US offer ...

    http://www.antiguasun.com/paper/?as=...42007&ac=Local

    This figure represents less than 0.015 per cent of the amount Antigua and Barbuda has requested.

    “The level of Antigua’s nullification and impairment should be roughly $0.5 million, and certainly no greater than approximately $3 million per year in lost exports of gambling services,” the US argued in a 25-page written submission to the WTO last week.

    The US has maintained that this compensation claim is exorbitant and unreasonable. Last week, a legal team from the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) filed a response to Antigua and Barbuda’s methodology report. That report, submitted earlier this month, attempted to justify Antigua and Barbuda’s multi-billion dollar claim and explained how the figure was reached.

    In its response, the US stated, “Antigua’s proposed level of suspension of concessions – at $3.443 billion US dollars – is nearly four times larger than Antigua’s entire economy, and thus wildly out of line with any realistic figure.”

    Antigua and Barbuda’s WTO Attorney Mark Mendel said he is focussing on preparations for the next brief he must file with the WTO on 4 Oct., as Antigua and Barbuda seeks authorisation to impose its sanction.
    But this part is the most interesting ...

    Mendel said that he met with US representatives in Geneva last Friday and now expects to meet with them for further discussions on the matter some time in October.

    “I think they are now coming to a recognition that they have a big problem with us and I sense that they are beginning to realise that they need to come to some kind of agreeable solution,” Mendel said, adding, “I am a little bit hopeful that we are getting their attention.”

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    helpyou is offline Public Member
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    it is one interesting news, we'll se.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Buzz View Post
    The US has offered something in the range of $500,000 to Antigua in concessions in response to its loss in the WTO case, according to multiple sources.
    .
    Well that can be made payable through funds from what..... Neteller or maybe they can pay from what they collected from any of the other companies they've scooped

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    helpyou is offline Public Member
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    Netteler have payed to USA, other companies culd be 888 .....do you know other ?

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  7. #6
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    Default Charity urges EU to come up with solution that doesn't undermine US "ban"

    CARE is pretty much urging EU officials to take the offer the US gave.

    Daniel Boucher CARE’s director of parliamentary affairs stated, “The idea that we should use ‘free trade’ as a mechanism for championing internet gambling is a big mistake if the international community is genuinely serious about promoting sustainable development. Countries banning internet gambling should not be deemed to be ‘protectionist’ but rather free traders in a moral, ‘social environment’ friendly framework.”

    He continued, “Far from seeking compensation for the US ban on internet gambling, we believe that the EU and other forward thinking nations should introduce a similar ban. Of all forms of gambling, internet gambling is one of the most dangerous because people can participate anytime 24-7 from the privacy of their home. There is no need to overcome the obstacle of getting to a casino and no one needs to know you gamble or for how long.”

    He went on to speak about the British Gambling Prevalence Study, which shows that problem gambling prevalence for internet gambling is higher than for most other forms of gambling.

    Boucher concluded: “The need for a ban was very helpfully put in focus last Wednesday by the publication of the British Gambling Prevalence Study which demonstrates that sadly there has been no drop in the number of problem gamblers in the UK during the last eight years and that ‘problem gambling’ is particularly high amongst internet gamblers.”
    What Buzzy finds interesting here is that the gambling study is used as evidence. No, problem gambling didn't decrease, but it also didn't increase. There was a shift in where problem gamblers were going from the national lottery to Internet gambling. And government doesn't like that ...

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    The Safe and Secure Gambling Initiative put this press release out today ...

    WTO Internet Gambling Ruling Could Require U.S. to Pay $100 Billion in Trade Compensation Penalties
    September 26, 2007, 2:49 PM EDT – International trade policy and Internet gambling experts spoke today about the need for the U.S. to quickly resolve the trade dispute around Internet gambling as it could result in penalties in excess of $100 billion in U.S. trade compensation, discredit the World Trade Organization (WTO) and undermine U.S. credibility. The experts, including Naotaka Matsukata, a senior policy advisor with Alston & Bird and former director of policy planning for U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick, Lode Van Den Hende, a Brussels-based trade lawyer with Herbert Smith, Raul Herrera, a Washington-based lawyer with Arnold & Porter and Clive Hawkswood, chief executive of the Remote Gambling Association, presented their comments on the WTO Internet gambling trade conflict and likelihood for a major trade clash between the Europe and the Bush Administration at a press conference in Brussels, Belgium.

    “The $3.4 billion claim by Antigua and the much larger claim of potentially over $100 billion by the seven economies seeking compensation are some of the largest penalties in the history of the WTO,” stated Matsukata. “This is by far the most significant WTO case ever and its implications for both the US and the EU are enormous. Given the size of the US gaming market, both the potential benefit for European industry and the corresponding potential damage to U.S. companies is unprecedented.”

    The WTO previously ruled, in response to a dispute filed by the Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, that the U.S. unfairly prohibits foreign Internet gambling operators from accessing the U.S. market, while allowing domestic companies to legally accept online bets. In response, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced the U.S. intention to withdraw its commitments to the WTO, thus allowing the United States to keep its markets to offshore based internet gambling operators closed. Currently, the European Union (representing 27 member states), India, Japan, Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Macao, and CARICOM (representing 15 Caribbean nations) have joined Antigua and Barbuda in seeking compensation from the U.S. for economic injury resulting from this trade agreement violation. If the U.S. does not settle with each country, the trade concessions will be determined by WTO arbitration.

    Withdrawing from a binding treaty commitment could undermine U.S. negotiating credibility and risks discrediting the WTO as an effective rules-based body. Essentially, the U.S. is disregarding the rules it helped put in place with the creation of the WTO. “When the US decides to ‘clarify’ its commitment, its creates a deep anxiety about the credibility of the WTO as a rules based institution – how many other countries may decide to follow suit by similarly ‘clarifying’ previously made commitments that may now be politically difficult or economically unpopular to fulfill?” commented Matusaka.

    Lode Van Den Hende added, “By withdrawing its commitments the US is opening a Pandora's box because if it becomes easy to withdraw commitments they become meaningless. And you have to ask yourself whether this is in the long term interest of the US?"

    A solution to the U.S. noncompliance with the WTO obligations may be found in the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act that was introduced in the spring by U.S. Representative Barney Frank. Matsukata argues that the bill would “effectively extend national treatment to WTO members in the area of gambling services; satisfying U.S. obligations under the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services, and eliminating the rationale for potentially harmful compensation concessions to a number of countries.“

    “Rather than face paying billions in trade compensation, which would have a significant adverse impact on the American economy, the U.S. should embrace the legislative solution presented by the Frank bill, which brings the U.S. into compliance by regulating Internet gambling and creating a level playing field among domestic and foreign Internet gambling operators,” said Jeffrey Sandman, spokesperson of the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative.

    About Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative
    The Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative promotes the freedom of individuals to gamble online with the proper safeguards to protect consumers and ensure the integrity of financial transactions. For more information on the Initiative, please visit www.safeandsecureig.org. The Web site provides a means by which individuals can register support for regulated Internet gambling with their elected representatives.

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    Default Guardian story ...

    This is an update on old news, but some good quotes in here ...


    An EU trade official said: "The UK operators and others who have lost out would get nothing (with the concessions offered). But the Frank bill would go a long way to meeting our demands."
    European and US lawyers warned yesterday that the dispute posed a "systemic risk" to the credibility of the World Trade Organisation after it ruled earlier this year that America acted illegally by excluding online gaming operators from the tiny Caribbean island of Antigua.
    Full story here ... http://business.guardian.co.uk/story/0,,2177817,00.html

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    The U.S. Trade office is dismissing the $100 million claims, saying they are exaggerated claims ... in a recent Reuters story ...


    A U.S. trade official, speaking on the condition she not be identified, said she could not reveal how much compensation -- in the form of increased foreign company access to the U.S. market -- trading partners were demanding in the talks.
    "We can say that some of the numbers being put forward are based on faulty and exaggerated assumptions," she said.


    Lawyers for European online gaming firms -- among the biggest in the world -- said on Wednesday the EU should press for as much as $100 billion in compensation, given the plunge in market value of publicly-traded firms after Congress tightened Internet gambling restrictions last year.
    http://today.reuters.com/news/articl...1-ArticlePage2

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    For the U.S. government, doing nothing or going against the WTO ruling in any way is more dangerous than letting a few gambling companies operate freely; there are a lot of implications. They might say whatever they want, but they can´t certainly stop others from saying their part or demanding whatever sum they see fit in any court of law outside the United States, where they not only cannot press judges - yes, that happens all around the world - but will actually find some level of dislike against the United States. So the risk of some huge, cascading lawsuits is there.

    The problem is that the current U.S: government doesn´t seem to base its rationale in long-term somewhat abstract interests for literal minds, neither it comprehends that people in other places around the world can act on their own. For some weird reason, the biggest, worldwide providers of anti-personnel land mines and other shrapnel-producing gadgets find it immoral - for others, that is - to bet on online slots, and that´s quite a challenge to anybody´s intelligence; if you combine that with actual money losses then the recipe for a conflict becomes obvious.

    What the representative of CARE declared, as stated above, is a bit dishonest and thus, part of the problem itself: First of all, he is manipulating the results of the British survey in such a way as to portray it in a positive light from his perspective, when even the government of the UK sees it quite differently. This is an obvious rethorical excercise destined to produce "proof" for those who have not read the survey, when there is none in fact. Secondly: He proposes to ban all sorts of gambling... ... Do you see the guys at Las Vegas or Montecarlo listening to him? Oh! Yes! We will demolish all those huge hotels and bring back the Nevada desert to where it belongs!

    Some time ago I wrote an essay on how the church actually went into the gambling business shortly after the fourteenth century´s bubonic plague because they had to survive in a post-disaster in which there was no other way to gather money to keep things going. So proof is there: Gambling cannot be banned effectively no matter what, and anybody thinking that it should or could is really someone who shouldn´t be in a position of power due to a total lack of common sense.

    What the U.S. representatives are offering Antigua is not only demeaning but commercially and politicall inviable. They will not make more friends in such a way because nobody can seriously expect to placate a country - no matter how small it might be - with the equivalent of a house mortgage, and nobody can seriously expect to sit to negotiate with such cards on the table; Antigua´s politicians would get mobbed by their constituency if they accept something like that. Clearly, Mr. Bush´s colleagues are either very unintelligent or they don´t want to negotiate the issue now and postpone it for a while.

    I don´t think that politicians are low on IQ, so they should be having ill intentions: Thus, we will see this issue drag on for a while and I wouldn´t bet on the opening of the U.S. market soon. A solution can take years considering that politicians and lawyers are involved. It will cost a lot of money that, of course, Mr. Bush and his people will never have to pay.

    PD: I am not particularly against the government of the U.S: more than any other government. We are all created equal, and all governments are created equally too...

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    Hi all,

    I think what most are missing is that W thinks he has to answer to nobody ..... including the oncoming of global warming. which of course ... is something that WILL be answered to ..... and paid for by our children.

    so anyone so arrogant and ignorant ..... cannot be counted upon to do the intelligent thing over something as small as internet gambling.

    wish I could say different but frankly ... arrogance is the only thing i CAN count on out of the current regime in the states.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bb1web View Post
    so anyone so arrogant and ignorant ..... cannot be counted upon to do the intelligent thing over something as small as internet gambling.
    Can't say I complete disagree with you, but there is more and more movement away from Mr. President each passing day. There is in fact a very real chance that he a veto overturned for the first time with the SCHIP program. Now I don't see the Congress getting a 2/3's majority on Internet gambling, but with so many mounting pressures, he may in the end just give up the fight.

    Of course, he's only got one year left as is is, and I doubt that anything will happen on this before he's out of office anyway. Speculation on my part, but that's why I like this forum.

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