Results 1 to 16 of 16
  1. #1
    vinism's Avatar
    vinism is offline Editor Emeritus
    Join Date
    October 2006
    Location
    Imported from Detroit
    Posts
    1,209
    Blog Entries
    5
    Thanks
    428
    Thanked 336 Times in 172 Posts

    Default WTO awards Antigua $21 million annually in Internet gambling trade dispute

    The World Trade Organization ruled today that the U.S. violated WTO trade rules by protecting it's online horse race betting market ONLY, and has authorized Antigua collect $21 million annually in sanctions. As a means to collect the $21 million, the WTO has authorized Antigua to seek the lifting of certain intellectual property protections. We're tracking the news and will post a story as soon we've collected a little more information.

  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to vinism For This Useful Post:

    ntaus (22 December 2007), thepokerkeep (21 December 2007)

  3. #2
    CityGuard's Avatar
    CityGuard is offline Former GPWA Program Manager
    Join Date
    July 2006
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    3,774
    Thanks
    442
    Thanked 672 Times in 392 Posts

    Default

    Well, if the annual award is in perpetuity rather than for a fixed length of time, this will amount to the 3.5 billion requested by Antigua in only 166 years and 4 months (not taking inflation into account) and everything after that is extra. Sounds like they came out ahead of where they were hoping in the REALLY long run.
    I have left the industry and earned a law degree at Indiana University Bloomington, Maurer School of Law. Here are ways to stay in touch with me:
    > Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StevenCorfman
    > LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/stevencorfman
    > Skype: StevenCorfman
    > Phone: +1 617 785 9324

    Inquiries intended for an administrator or staff member can be directed to Anthony Telesca through the forum (username Anthony) or to the general contact address manager AT gpwa DOT org.

  4. #3
    The Buzz's Avatar
    The Buzz is offline GPWA Gossip Hound
    Join Date
    February 2007
    Location
    Newton, MA
    Posts
    3,578
    Thanks
    292
    Thanked 1,487 Times in 900 Posts

    Default Here's a link to an AP story on the decision ...

    Good story gives lots of background and US and WTO takes on the decision.

    No comment yet from Mark Mendel and the Antigua folks ... waiting to hear what they think of the decision ... can't be pleased, but at the same time they did get the method of retailiation they were hoping for, just a very minute fraction of the amount.

    http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5h...3BtkgD8TLV9V80

  5. #4
    thepokerkeep's Avatar
    thepokerkeep is offline Private Member
    Join Date
    October 2007
    Location
    London Canada
    Posts
    2,886
    Blog Entries
    2
    Thanks
    1,004
    Thanked 1,213 Times in 799 Posts

  6. #5
    GPWA Aaron is offline Private Member
    Join Date
    July 2006
    Location
    Needham, MA
    Posts
    451
    Thanks
    40
    Thanked 144 Times in 64 Posts

    Default

    One interesting way to think of this is that each resident of Antigua gets $262.50 out of this settlement ... not much, considering the impact that the US stance on Internet gambling has had on the Antiguan economy and how many people's jobs and livelihoods have been affected.

  7. #6
    vinism's Avatar
    vinism is offline Editor Emeritus
    Join Date
    October 2006
    Location
    Imported from Detroit
    Posts
    1,209
    Blog Entries
    5
    Thanks
    428
    Thanked 336 Times in 172 Posts

    Default

    Here's our story on the ruling:

    U.S. dodges major sanctions in WTO case


    By Vin Narayanan

    The United States will be sanctioned $21 million annually for its restrictive Internet gambling laws and regulations, the WTO announced Friday. The ruling allows Antigua and Barbuda to lift certain copyright and trademark protections on U.S. goods and services to collect the money.

    Antigua and Barbuda had asked the WTO to impose $3.4 billion in sanctions, saying the U.S. had effectively closed its entire online gambling market to the world by passing the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in October 2006 and maintaining that online gambling was illegal. And while previous WTO rulings backed that logic, the WTO's final decision focused on horse racing.

    "The real point (of this ruling) is the WTO said the U.S. violated the GATS (General Agreement on Trades and Services) by allowing interstate interactive horse racing bets (from only domestic operators)," said Buffalo State Business Law professor Joe Kelly, an expert in U.S. gambling law. "The original win for Antigua was narrowed down on appeal."

    The United States withdrew all online gambling from its GATS schedule of commitments following as a result of the previous WTO rulings. And it was offering Antigua $500,000 in annual compensation for changing its trade commitments.

    The ruling by the WTO arbitration panel is final and can not be appealed, but the U.S. is asking for Antigua and Barbuda to delay imposing any sanctions and give compensation negotiations a chance.

    "The United States has already initiated the formal process under the WTO for clarifying its schedule of commitments and is engaged in compensation negotiations with Antigua and six other WTO members that have claimed to be affected," said United States Trade Representative Spokesman Sean Spicer. "We announced a compensation agreement with three of those Members earlier this week, and are continuing discussions with the others. We would expect that Antigua would not suspend its WTO commitments to the United States while that process is underway."

    The request from the U.S. to delay the sanctions stems from concerns that the lifting of intellectual property restrictions could severely damage some American software and entertainment companies.

    "It (the sanctions) would establish a harmful precedent for a WTO Member to affirmatively authorize what would otherwise be considered acts of piracy, counterfeiting, or other forms of IPR (intellectual property rights) infringement," said the USTR in a statement.

    "Once the process of clarifying the U.S. schedule of commitments is complete, any issues in our bilateral dispute with Antigua will be moot, and there will no longer be any basis for suspending WTO commitments in accordance with the arbitrator’s award," Spicer added.

    The WTO ruling is the second major setback this week for the online gambling industry, which had been counting on international pressure to help force the U.S. to open its market to foreign operators. On Monday, the U.S. and EU reached a deal that gives the EU access to the warehouse, postal and courier sectors of the U.S. economy as compensation for not being able to access online gaming. Industry insiders had been hoping the U.S. would face penalties in excess of $100 billion.

  8. #7
    matted's Avatar
    matted is offline Public Member
    Join Date
    June 2004
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Posts
    2,685
    Thanks
    118
    Thanked 328 Times in 222 Posts

    Default

    So here is my question...

    The settlement is from the horse racing argument, which is what they actually won. The damages only cover Antigua from their financial losses due to the loss of horse racing revenues.

    Can Antigua also request compensation for other areas of gambling which the US has decided to withdraw it's WTO commitment? IE - collect more money from casino business in a future judgement?
    Owner, Cognitive Powers, Inc.
    Soon to be ex-webmaster
    Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In

  9. #8
    AussieDave's Avatar
    AussieDave is offline Public Member
    Join Date
    November 2005
    Location
    from the land downunder
    Posts
    3,936
    Blog Entries
    1
    Thanks
    1,576
    Thanked 1,802 Times in 1,025 Posts

    Default

    Hi,

    My question(s) is:

    How does Antigua plan to recover this debt?

    I mean, what's stopping the USA telling them to go jump?

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't the US snubbed its nose at other WTO decisions against the US before?



    Cheers



    Dave
    ---
    Compliance: a code word for control

    ---
    Do the right thing, even when no one is looking. It's called integrity.
    ---

    It's your right to be treated honestly: fairness for all igaming affiliates - doch.news

  10. #9
    The Buzz's Avatar
    The Buzz is offline GPWA Gossip Hound
    Join Date
    February 2007
    Location
    Newton, MA
    Posts
    3,578
    Thanks
    292
    Thanked 1,487 Times in 900 Posts

    Default

    Buzzy will leave the analysis to vinism and the other folks at Casino City who are good at figuring out what all this means, but if you want to read it right from the horse's mouth, here's the 97-page document detailing the final ruling from the WTO.

    http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/...e/285arb_e.pdf

  11. #10
    Nandakishore's Avatar
    Nandakishore is offline In Memorium, 1935-2014
    Join Date
    December 2006
    Location
    In Germany near Munich
    Posts
    2,104
    Blog Entries
    5
    Thanks
    931
    Thanked 496 Times in 367 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The Buzz View Post
    No comment yet from Mark Mendel and the Antigua folks ... waiting to hear what they think of the decision ... can't be pleased, but at the same time they did get the method of retailiation they were hoping for, just a very minute fraction of the amount.
    Here are the comments of the Antiguan finance minister showing that they are more interested in negotiating with the US than earning $21 million/p.a. through damaging intellectual property rights.

    I personally think that the US cannot afford to allow any country to ignore their intellectual property rights even for $1. They will negotiate.

    Nandakishore
    Online Casino Newsroom

  12. #11
    vinism's Avatar
    vinism is offline Editor Emeritus
    Join Date
    October 2006
    Location
    Imported from Detroit
    Posts
    1,209
    Blog Entries
    5
    Thanks
    428
    Thanked 336 Times in 172 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The Buzz View Post
    Buzzy will leave the analysis to vinism and the other folks at Casino City who are good at figuring out what all this means, but if you want to read it right from the horse's mouth, here's the 97-page document detailing the final ruling from the WTO.

    http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/...e/285arb_e.pdf
    Thanks Buzzy. I'll be posting an analysis this afternoon.

  13. #12
    vinism's Avatar
    vinism is offline Editor Emeritus
    Join Date
    October 2006
    Location
    Imported from Detroit
    Posts
    1,209
    Blog Entries
    5
    Thanks
    428
    Thanked 336 Times in 172 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by matted View Post
    So here is my question...

    The settlement is from the horse racing argument, which is what they actually won. The damages only cover Antigua from their financial losses due to the loss of horse racing revenues.

    Can Antigua also request compensation for other areas of gambling which the US has decided to withdraw it's WTO commitment? IE - collect more money from casino business in a future judgement?
    Unfortunately, Antigua can not request compensation in other areas. That was part of their request in this case, and it has been denied. Also, this ruling can not be appealed.

  14. #13
    vinism's Avatar
    vinism is offline Editor Emeritus
    Join Date
    October 2006
    Location
    Imported from Detroit
    Posts
    1,209
    Blog Entries
    5
    Thanks
    428
    Thanked 336 Times in 172 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AussieDave View Post
    Hi,

    My question(s) is:

    How does Antigua plan to recover this debt?

    I mean, what's stopping the USA telling them to go jump?

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't the US snubbed its nose at other WTO decisions against the US before?



    Cheers



    Dave
    Antigua has been given permission by the WTO to essentially run legal pirating and counterfeiting operations to reclaim the $21 million. There is no way the U.S. will allow this happen in practice, so a negotiated settlement of more than $21 million is likely on the way.

  15. #14
    vinism's Avatar
    vinism is offline Editor Emeritus
    Join Date
    October 2006
    Location
    Imported from Detroit
    Posts
    1,209
    Blog Entries
    5
    Thanks
    428
    Thanked 336 Times in 172 Posts

    Default

    Here's the analysis piece we wrote on the ruling:

    News Analysis: Online gambling only real loser in WTO case

    26 December 2007
    By Vin Narayanan

    News Analysis

    In the end, Antigua's WTO case against the U.S. over online gambling had nothing to gambling on the Internet. Instead, it became a proxy war pitting the politics of trade against fair trade. And predictably, the politics won. It had to win because nothing short of the future of the WTO was at stake.

    Big vs. small -- the politics of trade

    Antigua was just the second country of its size to successfully litigate a WTO case against one of the world's major economic powers – and that grabbed the attention of the entire world. Countries with small economies were watching to see if Antigua could force a large nation like the U.S. to either open its markets or receive substantial compensation in lieu of opening the markets. Meanwhile, large countries and organizations with large economies – like the U.S. and EU – were worried the Antigua case could set a dangerous precedent and result in a blueprint for other countries to attack them on trade practices.

    This case was especially important to small nations because the first small country to win a substantial WTO case, Ecuador, wasn't able to enforce its 2000 ruling against the EU in a banana markets case because the options – primarily trade sanctions – they had available to them would have destroyed their own economy.

    But Antigua, and its attorney Mark Mendel, found a way around this problem. They were seeking permission from the WTO to lift intellectual property rights protections from U.S. goods and services. The threat of making movies, software and music available for pennies in Antigua would give the country an incredible amount of leverage in its negotiations with the U.S. And if the WTO allowed the lifting of intellectual property rights, the Antigua case would become legal precedent that other small nations could follow in trade disputes.

    Needless to say, the world's largest countries were not happy with the prospect of Antigua succeeding. If WTO members could use the lifting of intellectual property rights as sanctions to resolve trade disputes, "developed" economies could easily lose billions of dollars if they ever lost a trade dispute. And from a negotiations standpoint, this would put them on relatively equal footing with smaller countries, negating their advantages in size and power. This was something to be avoided at all costs, and part of the reason why the EU settled its secondary WTO online gambling dispute with the U.S. by accepting minor trade concessions. The EU wanted to tweak the U.S. a little bit, but it didn't want a substantial victory.

    WTO chooses survival


    Somehow, a simple online gambling case had morphed into a survival battle for the WTO. If the WTO issued a substantial ruling in favor of Antigua, there was a significant chance that world's largest nations would pull out of the treaty rather than face the potential loss of billions of dollars down the road. If the WTO issued a substantial ruling in favor of the U.S., small nations, which comprise the bulk of the WTO, would have pulled out of the WTO because they were participating in a system in which they couldn't win.

    So facing extinction, the WTO invented a third option – a ruling that allowed both Antigua (and its small-country brethren) and the U.S. (and its fellow large economies) to claim victory. The WTO refined its original ruling by narrowing the focus to just horse racing. The organization found that the U.S. had violated WTO rules by allowing domestic organizations to offer interstate online horse race betting while excluding foreign competition from horse racing ONLY. Because the U.S. trade violations were restricted to horse racing, Antigua would not get the $3.4 billion in compensation they had sought. Instead, they would receive $21 million annually AND permission to lift intellectual property protections to collect the damages.

    In essence, the WTO split the baby. The ruling capped damages that could be extracted via the lifting of intellectual property rights which makes the U.S. and other large nations happy. But it also gave Antigua – and in the future, other small countries – the leverage they need to negotiate a larger settlement from the U.S. In fact, that is what appears to be happening right now. The U.S. has asked Antigua not to impose the sanctions until the two nations have had a chance to negotiate a deal. And there's no way the U.S. – or Disney or Microsoft or any recording company for that matter – will allow Antigua to impose these sanctions, so the tiny Caribbean island is due for a pretty nice pay day. Just not the $3.4 billion they had been asking for.

    The only real loser in this deal is the online gambling industry. Without the threat of a significant WTO decision against the U.S., it's highly unlikely that Congress will pass any legislation to either repeal the UIGEA or create a regulated an environment for online gambling in the near future.

  16. #15
    matted's Avatar
    matted is offline Public Member
    Join Date
    June 2004
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Posts
    2,685
    Thanks
    118
    Thanked 328 Times in 222 Posts

    Default

    It's a sad day when politics plays that major a role in the legal system.

    As for my question - that decision was before the US decided to end their agreement in the gambling sector, I thought. So while casinos couldn't be included in the complaint, why couldn't they have joined the EU and other countries in seeking compensation for the action the occurred after the ruling!?

    Guess this is why I'm not a lawyer...
    Owner, Cognitive Powers, Inc.
    Soon to be ex-webmaster
    Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In

  17. #16
    The Buzz's Avatar
    The Buzz is offline GPWA Gossip Hound
    Join Date
    February 2007
    Location
    Newton, MA
    Posts
    3,578
    Thanks
    292
    Thanked 1,487 Times in 900 Posts

    Default Mark Mendel speaks

    Reuters story has updated info with quotes from Mendel, who says Antigua doesn't really want to infringe on US intellectual property rights, but instead wanted to force the US's hand to allow Antiguan companies access to the US market.

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/intern...60157420071224

    "Antigua doesn't want to negate American intellectual property rights. They don't want to sell ... DVDs and copies of Microsoft Office."

    Mendel said he was expecting a compensation award closer to $1 billion, and the "absurdly low" figure approved by the panel meant Antigua had to lower its sights for any Internet gambling opportunities in the United States.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •