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WTO Again Sides With Antigua Over Online Gambling

Hemos posted about 7 years ago | from the going-to-be-a-long-slog dept.

The Internet 429

TechDirt writes "For some time we've been following the ongoing conflict between the US and the island nation of Antigua surrounding internet gambling. Even before the passage of the most recent anti-gambling law, Antigua had gone to the WTO to complain that the US government's actions against online gambling were de facto protectionist measures, and thus violated international trade law. The WTO ended up siding with Antigua, although, quite predictably, the US did nothing to resolve the issue -- in fact, things have only gotten worse. Now the WTO is speaking out again, slamming the US government for its failure to abide by the decision against it. Once again, it seems likely that the US will ignore the decision, although that would give Antigua the right to retaliate. One possibility that's been thrown out there is that Antigua may turn itself into a haven for free music and software and set up some site like allofmp3.com. Of course, the US put pressure on Russia to crack down on that site, as part of the country's admittance into the WTO, but since Antigua is already part of the organization, the US would have no such leverage. Now, the WTO has spoken out again."

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429 comments

Ob (4, Funny)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | about 7 years ago | (#18572233)

Nuke them from orbit; it's the only way to be sure.

George, what are you doing? I was only joking!

Somebody... (5, Interesting)

Seumas (6865) | about 7 years ago | (#18572501)

. One possibility that's been thrown out there is that Antigua may turn itself into a haven for free music and software and set up some site like allofmp3.com.
Somebody wants to be considered part of the Axis of Evil and treated as a terrorist nation!

Shut up and take your medicine (3, Insightful)

Stumbles (602007) | about 7 years ago | (#18572243)

All I can say is the US has become one truly pathetic country.

Re:Shut up and take your medicine (5, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | about 7 years ago | (#18572323)

Too true. We're more than happy to go whining to the UN or impose unilateral sanctions when some other country isn't doing what we want, but when the rest of the world tries to tell us that we're being the assholes, well, we can just ignore that.

Re:Shut up and take your medicine (3, Insightful)

faloi (738831) | about 7 years ago | (#18572557)

Because every other country traditionally caves in when the UN or WTO issues a ruling, right?

Re:Shut up and take your medicine (1)

sig226 (171084) | about 7 years ago | (#18572597)

The nasty letters didn't work on North Korea, Iraq, Iran, etc etc, they certainly won't work
on the USA either, UN, WTO, all other "organizations" are powerless and pointless.
tom

Re:Shut up and take your medicine (5, Interesting)

syntaxglitch (889367) | about 7 years ago | (#18572971)

The nasty letters didn't work on North Korea, Iraq, Iran, etc etc, they certainly won't work
on the USA either, UN, WTO, all other "organizations" are powerless and pointless.
tom
Oh, okay, so the USA isn't any worse than NK, Iraq, or Iran? That's a stunning endorsement.

It's like the Bush fans who justify his behavior by saying "oh, but Clinton did this stuff too!" Well, when you spend years whining and bitching about how bad the other guy was, you kinda lose the right to use "they did it first" as a defense.

Re:Shut up and take your medicine (2, Funny)

Intron (870560) | about 7 years ago | (#18572689)

"What the hell are we supposed to use man? Harsh language?"
-- Frost, Aliens

Re:Shut up and take your medicine (0, Troll)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | about 7 years ago | (#18572351)

There's nothing pathetic about protecting your citizens from gambling away their mortgage/rent/food money with the ease of a click of a mouse button.

Try not to be an anti-US sheeple for once.

Re:Shut up and take your medicine (3, Insightful)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | about 7 years ago | (#18572367)

In a democracy, the government's purview is not to protect their people, but obey their commands.

Re:Shut up and take your medicine (5, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | about 7 years ago | (#18572561)

In a democracy, the government's purview is not to protect their people, but obey their commands.
Which is one reason the US isn't a democracy. What the majority of people think is not necessarily the best course of action -- the will of the people can be a very dangerous thing.

That said, the role of government in a representative republic shouldn't be to protect people from themselves, either.

Re:Shut up and take your medicine (3, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | about 7 years ago | (#18572583)

What if the people command their government to protect them?

Re:Shut up and take your medicine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18572839)

in this particular case, do they?

Re:Shut up and take your medicine (1)

91degrees (207121) | about 7 years ago | (#18572869)

It was more of a hypothetical question. I'm not sure I agree with the other poster but don't really have the time for an extended debate.

Re:Shut up and take your medicine (5, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 7 years ago | (#18572381)

By "protecting" you mean "redirecting them to gamble on lotteries or horseraces"?
Which is an alternative way of saying "redirecting them to give their money towards the US government".

Re:Shut up and take your medicine (5, Insightful)

syntaxglitch (889367) | about 7 years ago | (#18572491)

And, one will note, if all gambling were 100% illegal in the US, we'd be in the clear with the WTO, too. This has nothing to do with "protecting" people (not that protecting people from themselves is a good thing anyways).

Re:Shut up and take your medicine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18572515)

What a fucktard... Why don't you run off to mommy government when you piss yourself in a drunken stupour cause they "didn't pwotect you fwom the evwils of dwink wah wah wah" while you're at it.

I know, why not ban idiots like you from driving (cause thats dangewous too isn't it?) -- it's obvious your sort of asshole causes more deaths on the road than poverty causes in a life time, possibly through your sheer fucking stupidity.

Re:Shut up and take your medicine (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | about 7 years ago | (#18572553)

they "didn't pwotect you fwom the evwils of dwink wah wah wah" while you're at it.

They do. Alcohol is controlled and regulated by the government. There are rules in place to reduce the harm done and sanctions can be imposed on manufacturers, outlets and importers who break these rules.

Re:Shut up and take your medicine (2, Insightful)

flumps (240328) | about 7 years ago | (#18572627)

.. but its not illegal.. well it was.. but it's not now.

Look what happened when they did that..!

Re:Shut up and take your medicine (5, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | about 7 years ago | (#18572707)

Alcohol is controlled and regulated by the government. There are rules in place to reduce the harm do

      Ha ha ha ha ha! Looks like you bought the story. The controls are simply to make sure that every single bottle of booze is TAXED. They don't give a shit about you. If they did, it would be treated just like a controlled medication (eg opioids) - some authority has to sign so you can get it, you only get small doses at a time, and special measures are in place to make sure you don't go "shopping" to "stock up". Even in this case the controls are to prevent someone becoming a supplier of opioids rather than abusing them.

You can walk into any liquor store and buy all the booze you want - enough to kill yourself many times over. So long as it's taxed. Same deal with tobacco. And gambling must be done in specific places, so the government can keep its eye on the books to make sure the tax is paid.

Re:Shut up and take your medicine (5, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | about 7 years ago | (#18572591)

There's nothing pathetic about protecting your citizens from gambling away their mortgage/rent/food money with the ease of a click of a mouse button.

      Someone that stupid deserves to be on the streets.

      Wait, if we follow your argument, perhaps a government appointed agent should visit you during sex and make sure you use a condom. After all, there's nothing pathetic about protecting your citizens from contracting a deadly disease from a 5 minute sexual encounter.

Re:Shut up and take your medicine (5, Insightful)

tinkerghost (944862) | about 7 years ago | (#18572673)

There's nothing pathetic about protecting your citizens from gambling away their mortgage/rent/food money with the ease of a click of a mouse button.

That would be really nice, if that was what was happening. However, if you live in CT, NV, or a few other states, you can quite happily log into an in-state's casino website & gamble away your life savings. Or you could just go to the OTB website & do so across state lines. Or you can go to your states lottery website & do it.

Nope, look at the reasons the US govt is giving, 'the money supports drug lords', 'the money supports terrorists', 'Online gambling is being blocked because of moral reasons'. The first 2 are bunk because Antigua monitors their gaming establishments very carefully, they are about 30% of the countries GNP. If the last one was true, and it is the reason they formally advanced to WIPO, then they would be obligated to block it within the US as well. WIPO told them that, and they responded by doing nothing internally & passing more international restrictions.

This is not about a moral issue, this is about blocking money moving out of the country. That's protectionism, and it's blocked by all the treaties we've signed - we've screamed in the past on exactly the same points, so it's perfectly alright to call the US govt a bunch of hypocrites, because they provably are. That's not anti-US, it's fact. I know it's hard to believe, but even in this day & age, sometimes we still get to say the Emperor has no clothes without a trip to Gitmo.

Re:Shut up and take your medicine (2, Insightful)

EllisDees (268037) | about 7 years ago | (#18572925)

Where in the constitution is the federal government given the power to regulate gambling?

Oh, that's right, *nowhere*!

The government's job is not to protect us from ourselves. Period.

Re:Shut up and take your medicine (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 7 years ago | (#18572933)

If the ban applied to all gambling noone would complain (at least not to the WTO) but the ban only applies to online gambling sites operated in foreign countries which means the citizens can still gamble everything away with a mouseclick but the websites have to be based in the US.

Re:Shut up and take your medicine (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18572373)

I didn't even know there was a World Titty Organization!

Re:Shut up and take your medicine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18572385)

Maybe so, but find something better to complain about. Online gambling is illegal in the US.

Re:Shut up and take your medicine (1)

wiz31337 (154231) | about 7 years ago | (#18572415)

Maybe so, but find something better to complain about. Online gambling is illegal in the US.
Drugs, prostitution and child p0rn are also illegal in the US, stop complaining about that too!

Re:Shut up and take your medicine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18572489)

... Right, child p0rn is illegal in the US, so other countries shouldn't be trying to sell it to Americans. Not that I'm one to compare child porn and online gambling, you did.

Re:Shut up and take your medicine (4, Insightful)

IdleTime (561841) | about 7 years ago | (#18572659)

Indeed... The US has become a 1st world economy/military with a 3rd world society. I've lived and worked here for a decade and it's getting worse by the day.

Look at all stats too, USA is sliding down the lists so fast you wonder what happened. USA has been surpassed in most areas by countries who care about it's citizens and it's businesses. But Americans continue to claim to be #1 even when all stats show otherwise. It must be nice to be so brainwashed and ignorant.

Re:Shut up and take your medicine (5, Insightful)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about 7 years ago | (#18572865)

Republicans were in power.

You know - the "family first, anti-drugs, small government" republicans? That same party where both the president and VP have DWIs? Where every single candidate in the 2008 race has been divorced at least once? The party that over the past 6 years has increased the size of the government and budget to the largest ever?

Disclaimer: I was a Republican. The above facts are just some of the many reasons I no longer am. The hypocrisy of that party boggles the mind.

slashdotit sucks (-1, Offtopic)

MECC (8478) | about 7 years ago | (#18572247)

How do I get the highly annoying "slashdotit"/slashrating i-wanna-be-just-like-digg box to NOT appear on the front page? Is everyone cursed.

Offtopic, I know. Mod me if you can't answer me.

Re:slashdotit sucks (-1, Offtopic)

Southpaw018 (793465) | about 7 years ago | (#18572291)

That was an April Fool's joke, I thought... Slashdot takes 4/1 fairly far every year ;)

Some fail it at April Fools (1, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | about 7 years ago | (#18572341)

That was an April Fool's joke, I thought... Slashdot takes 4/1 fairly far every year ;)

Yeah, maybe I'm pretty nerdy,but when the Slashdotit ratings were coming up as Avagadro's number and Faraday's constant (not to mention Jenny 867-5309), it was pretty clearly a joke.

Hmm.... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18572305)

How can the US be slammed for protectionism when we don't let anyone in the US to do online gambling?

This also touches on broader "moral issues". If a country doesn't want something to come in because it objects on moral grounds, who is another country to sue about it? It's like Columbia complaining to the WTO that we ban cocaine.

(Some may argue that regular gambling is legal in parts of the US, but I think online gambling falls into a different realm. Because of the ease of access, it could lead to an major increase in gambling.)

Re:Hmm.... (1, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | about 7 years ago | (#18572331)

There's no logic involved here. The average slashdot user is anti-WTO unless they find *against* the US. Then suddenly everybody loves the WTO.

It's not a question of morality. It's just trendy to hate the US right now.

Re:Hmm.... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18572371)

It's been trendy to hate the US for decades now. You just apparently didn't notice until 11/9.

Re:Hmm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18572433)

It only recently became trendy to brashly and openly hate the US. You are correct that people have been doing it quietly for decades.

Re:Hmm.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18572485)

Absolutely, Mod parent up x2

Re:Hmm.... (4, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | about 7 years ago | (#18572751)

Oh, boo hoo.

Despite whatever misguided beliefs you may have, America has always been highly respected and loved by people all over the world. Whether you were from France, Germany, Japan or anywhere else, people looked toward America as an example for the rest of the world. A place people wanted to be. A country of hope for those who had none and a people that people loved. Perhaps not perfect, but still a place that gave hope to even those who loved their own countries.

This was illustrated by the response immediately after 9/11. Remember "We All Today are USA"? Remember people in every city on the planet marching, crying, holding vigils and saying they love America and that the attacks broke their hearts?

For a moment in time, we held the sympathy of a world that looked to us. And then we blew it. Some people hate America, including some Americans. For others around the world (and in America), it's not so much hate as disappointment. I have talked to countless people from every walk of life around the planet and one thing is consistent. They love Americans and they loved the America that gave them hope. That stood for ideals, cared about peace and freedom and being both an example to and a beacon for other free civilizations world-wide. Just because they criticize the country doesn't mean they hate it. It means they are frustrated with it. They are frustrated that the one great example of everything that appealed to them has turned on its head.

Rather than playing the Fox News "they hate our freedom and our baby jebus!" card that is so easy for the ignorant, self-involved idiots to play, try considering that just maybe we lost the sympathy, affection and respect of the entire world on our own watch and of our own accord. If we want to be able to travel the globe and enjoy the respect and fascination people once had for an American abroad, we need to reconsider our actions past and our decisions future. You can't lumber around the playground like a clumsy bully and simultaneously, shouting that you don't care what anyone else thinks and treating everyone else in the world community as a lesser human being by their nationality and simultaneously expect to be seen as a respectable victim standing up for themselves.

Part of being a mature country that provides world-wide leadership means giving great consideration to actions yet taken and honest introspective review of those already performed. Let's do a little less flag-waving and "put a boot in their ass" Toby Kieth bullshit and a little more growing up. I, for one, resent that those much older than myself have stolen the respect and admiration that being an American used to deserve and that my generation will probably not be alive by the time we manage to regain that respect.

My butt (4, Interesting)

palladiate (1018086) | about 7 years ago | (#18572445)

I doubt you'll find many Slashdotters hanging out with your average WTO protester. Sure, they both may be pasty, unwashed, and/or unshaved, but the similarity ends there. I'd bet most Slashdotters understand basic economics and understand there's generally nothing wrong with the WTO. Depending on how protectionist or stupid your leaders may be, your mileage may vary.

The crux of the issue here, is that unlike in the EU where local moral and religious laws get some protection from EU decisions, the WTO frowns on morality-based protectionism. As well they should. What business is it of our government to dictate what someone can do with their money? Gambling restrictions in this country are sold as religion-based. A good portion of Christians think that gambling is immoral. The other portion thinks that gambling is a waste of money and disproportionatly affects the poor. I suspect the real reason is because the state likes having a monopoly on gaming (state lotteries) and doesn't want the free market driving their payout percentages.

Then again, I'm not your "average" Slashdotter. Even though I AM an economist, the internet is full of people who read Atlas Shrugged and think they have a degree from Wharton or something. So I may be wrong about your "average Slashdot user."

Re:My butt (0, Troll)

ivan256 (17499) | about 7 years ago | (#18572523)

I agree with your view of the issue, but I think you're wrong about your average slashdotter.

Your average slashdotter will line up behind anybody with an unpopular cause. They're just sheep who like to bitch a lot and feel repressed.

Maybe (1)

palladiate (1018086) | about 7 years ago | (#18572715)

You may be right. It's that mindset that prevents me from posting in Apple threads. Despite being a user and consumer of Apple products for 25 years now, if I so much as SUGGEST that Apple isn't going to overtake Microsoft in the next two years, or point out that it may be foolish to think so barring any data, I get modded troll and flamed to oblivion on how I'm wrong. You'd think that after about 30 years of "winning" users over, we'd have won by now...

Re:My butt (4, Insightful)

gmack (197796) | about 7 years ago | (#18572571)

The WTO certainly does not frown on morality based protectionism. There are actually WTO rules to specifically ban things for moral/religious reasons but the rule is that bans must apply equally to companies based inside the country as well.

The US gambling laws are economic protectionism hidden behind a thin veil of moralism and that's what the WTO is objecting to.

If they still want to ban gambling then they need ban it for everyone and remove the exceptions for US businesses.

That was my point (1)

palladiate (1018086) | about 7 years ago | (#18572657)

That was exactly my point. Anyone can see that we don't have some far-reaching problem with gambling in this country. In fact Las Vegas is probably the biggest tourist destination in this country (been there twice, it certainly seems like it to me). If we REALLY had a problem with gambling, you couldn't gamble anywhere, and the state wouldn't have a monopoly on it in most areas. This is not just protectionism, but protection of a state monopoly. No kidding the WTO frowns on it.

I should also add (1)

palladiate (1018086) | about 7 years ago | (#18572697)

Protectionism is the act of protecting your industries. The WTO frowns on all protectionism. But the EU is more lax in allowing protectionism, especially if you prove a decent religious basis. If something is just plain immoral or sacreligious in your country, neither the WTO or EU have any real problem with you banning it.

Again, this is about protectionism.

Re:My butt (1)

c_forq (924234) | about 7 years ago | (#18572943)

But in the U.S. online gambling is illegal. As for actual casinos, if they can get a State or a Native American Nation to allow them to build I am pretty sure they are free to do so, however convincing a State or Tribe to allow their casino can be an extremely tricky issue.

Re:Hmm.... (1)

it0 (567968) | about 7 years ago | (#18572463)

It's not a question of morality. It's just trendy to hate the US right now.

Do you work for Microsoft?

Re:Hmm.... (4, Insightful)

Alioth (221270) | about 7 years ago | (#18572563)

No, I don't think people generally love the WTO - however, they can see the irony when the very same institution which was used by the US to force others to do what the US wants is then ignored by the US, when the US is doing something contrary to the rules of the same organization it was using to browbeat others.

Re:Hmm.... (2, Insightful)

syntaxglitch (889367) | about 7 years ago | (#18572587)

There's no logic involved here. The average slashdot user is anti-WTO unless they find *against* the US. Then suddenly everybody loves the WTO.

It's not a question of morality. It's just trendy to hate the US right now.
Projecting your own failings onto others, eh? It seems pretty trendy on /. these days to hallucinate some huge anti-American bias, and there's certainly no morality or logic involved in that attitude. Reality check: the US government is acting like a dick and people are calling us on it.

Do you actually have a logical, ethical defense of the US's behavior, or are you just another mindless drone (excuse me, I mean 'typical slashdotter')?

Re:Hmm.... (3, Informative)

jambay (531064) | about 7 years ago | (#18572451)

I do not think your argument holds up to scrutiny. Antigua is calling the US a hypocrite because we allow certain types of gambling, even remote gambling (off-track betting with horses and dogs, keno, lotteries, etc). I do not think your arguing about a different realm and a potential increase in gambling means anything from a legal perspective. It's an emotional and relative argument that is not consistent with how the law is currently applied. Quoted from the news service:

The report also noted that the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which was passed after Antigua's initial complaint, has the same loopholes that exist in the laws that encouraged Antigua to file the complaint. These loopholes are the main reasons that the panel ruled the U.S. is violating trade laws. Because the U.S. allows certain types of online gambling transactions to take place within its borders, but actively tries to stop the same services from being offered by companies located outside the U.S., the U.S. is violating WTO agreements.

Re:Hmm.... (0, Troll)

johnlcallaway (165670) | about 7 years ago | (#18572671)

Laws in the US also only allows certain type of drinking (i.e. must be over 21), certain types of porn, certain types of drugs, and on and on.

If some other country decided to setup an online site to sell booze, child porn, and marijuana over the internet, why wouldn't the same laws apply.

The WTO has overstepped their bounds. This isn't about putting tariffs on coffee or corn, this is about introducing something into a society that has made it illegal. Whether or not the law 'makes sense' is irrelevant. There are many arbitrary laws, such as drinking ages and speed limits. One could argue that making possession of marijuana illegal is also arbitrary since cigarettes and alcohol are also legal.

Re:Hmm.... (1)

nosferatu1001 (264446) | about 7 years ago | (#18572917)

You've totally missed the point:

The US allows "remote gambling" if the company offering the gambling is based in the US

The US has banned "remote gambling" for all companies not in the US

Is that simple enough? This is about enforcing different rules based on where the company is offering the services from, and NOT the services themselves. key difference.

Re:Hmm.... (1)

mdfst13 (664665) | about 7 years ago | (#18572467)

How can the US be slammed for protectionism when we don't let anyone in the US to do online gambling?
Because the US still allows off line gambling? Las Vegas, Atlantic City, lotteries, etc.

Re:Hmm.... (4, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | about 7 years ago | (#18572535)

How can the US be slammed for protectionism when we don't let anyone in the US to do online gambling?

      But you do let people gamble in American casinos in Vegas, Atlantic City (at times!) and certain native American reservations? Why not online? Protectionism, see?

It's like Columbia complaining to the WTO that we ban cocaine.

      No it's not. Cocaine is illegal in both the US and Colombia. Gambling is legal in parts of the US and in Antigua. The US created a law to make "online" gambling illegal, but no one goes to jail for going to Vegas even if gambling is illegal in their state. Therefore Antigua complains. Especially since most of their business came from the US. That's what trade organizations are all about, really.

but I think online gambling falls into a different realm. Because of the ease of access, it could lead to an major increase in gambling.

      Thank God that we have you as our self-appointed Censor!

      Yes some people have gambling problems, and can ruin their lives (and their family) through gambling. However not everyone has this problem. Most people can keep to the limits they establish themselves.

      You suggest a prohibition type scenario. If you look around you perhaps you might understand what happens when government prohibits something that the people want. The people do it ANYWAY. Example - alchol in the 20's. Drugs today. Prohibition enables organized crime to get rich from the public vice. It does not stop the vice.

Re:Hmm.... (1)

tinkerghost (944862) | about 7 years ago | (#18572767)

But you do let people gamble in American casinos in Vegas, Atlantic City (at times!) and certain native American reservations?

Technically, the NA reservations don't count. It's a very complicated arrangement, but they are semi-autonomous. They technically are bound by certain restrictions, but for the most part they are self governing. So they are neither truly external like Antigua, nor internal like Atlantic City or Las Vegas.

But the point stands, they are blocking off-shore gambling on moral grounds while permitting it on-shore. That makes it protectionist, hypocritical, and in viloation of multiple treaties.

Re:Hmm.... (2, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | about 7 years ago | (#18572883)

Technically, the NA reservations don't count. It's a very complicated arrangement, but they are semi-autonomous.

      I understand your point. I mean, historically - this arrangement lasts for as long as the US government wants it to last.

Re:Hmm.... (1)

agbinfo (186523) | about 7 years ago | (#18572853)

Not that I want to side with the US on this but I can understand why they might want to make online gambling illegal. First, it is considered a vice by many and as such, even if legal, they usually want to put controls on it.

Liquor is legal but there are certains laws put in place to restrict it. Sex is legal but laws restrict it again. Gambling is legal but there are laws to restrict it too.

If online gambling was legal it would be possible to add controls but I believe it would be very difficult to enforce.

I'm not saying they're right but I can understand that they might have a reasonable oppposition. Actually I didn't RTFA so I don't know what their position is.

Re:Hmm.... (1)

flumps (240328) | about 7 years ago | (#18572595)

.. because it is perfectly legal for me or anyone in the US to bet on US government lead schemes (such as Tote horse racing) online, whilst other forms of gambling online are illegal.

The US Govt. are simply claiming it's a moral thing, to sell you shit wrapped up in Christmas paper. They are quite happy to take the money from the gambling they do have, as long as they can control it and get revenue from it.

As long as its US Government approved, its ok. Which is wrong, and protectionist.

State lotteries and horse racing (5, Informative)

sgent (874402) | about 7 years ago | (#18572653)

State lotteries and horse racing which can be bet on via the internet is what destroyed our case. The WTO allows for "morality" based restrictions -- but they must be applied uniformly. Since we already allow for online gambling, restricting foriegn interests from participating is the problem.

Re:State lotteries and horse racing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18572969)

That is exactly the point here. The US complaint is that online gambling circumvents state laws banning it. Yes, you can travel to Vegas and gamble, but you do have to leave the state that bans it in order to do so. You have to travel to where it is legal. States rights and all that.

It is not whether or not the US feels gambling *itself* is immoral, it's that individual states have banned it or feel that way (that it is immoral). Now the problem is, we allow some online gambling at all inside the US and you can't now claim that international online gambling is any different. If the US were to ban all internet gambling of any kind within its borders their case at the WTO would be much stronger. I seriously doubt that will happen as too many state lotteries operate on that. It IS protectionist because the whole reason for the US complaint is that these off-shore gambling operations are impacting state lotteries and other forms of online gambling currently being allowed.

Re:Hmm.... (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 7 years ago | (#18572947)

You don't know much about the WTO do you?

It's called Trade Agreements. I doesn't matter what the U.S. wants. U.S. laws can be overridden if they violate Trade Agreements. Remember the Steel Tariffs fiasco back in 2002 - 2003. The Bush administration levied tariffs on imported steel to help the U.S. Steel industry. Problem was this violated trade agreements the U.S. had with various countries. The WTO would have fined the U.S. had the U.S. not dropped the tariffs.

The WTO is a very scary organization, when you consider it can lawfully violate the will of the people.

Re:Hmm.... (1)

Maxwell (13985) | about 7 years ago | (#18572981)

How can the US be slammed for protectionism when we don't let anyone in the US to do online gambling?


Becasue you do. There is lots of online, remote gambling allowed in the US. And the govt gets a nice little fee for each bet placed. They DONT get the fee for each bet placed in Antigua. So they whine and cry and declare it a 'moral issue'. Can't have it both ways. Either shut down las vegas and every OTB parlor in NJ , or shut the hell up.

JON

This really IS the obligatory.... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18572365)

I, for one, ecstatically welcome our new offshore, porn-pedalling, code-pirating, sun-drenched overlords.....

Re:This really IS the obligatory.... (1)

bhima (46039) | about 7 years ago | (#18572479)

Yep, and I'm checking the job listings now... The ski season sucked this year and I'm up for a change, I could take a few years of living down that way. How hard could it be running a bunch of co-located server farms, postal mail drop boxes, and accountant offices?

People take this shit way too seriously.

What a hypocrite the US is! (2, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | about 7 years ago | (#18572375)

Isn't this the same United States that "champions" the rule of law? There are so many examples of the US refusing to follow the law but expects other nations to do just that. I wonder what the ordinary American has to say about this.

Re:What a hypocrite the US is! (1)

Rocketship Underpant (804162) | about 7 years ago | (#18572495)

A lot of the Americans I know happily assume the same bullying attitude their government has. So long as the bombs drop on the countries they don't like and industries (like gambling) they're not interested in are outlawed, they're happy.

Other Americans I know are sick of the whole thing. Unfortunately, they have no say in the matter. American politicians are second to none in manipulating the system to get what they want. Throw the mob enough bones and they'll be happy; that's the democratic principle.

Re:What a hypocrite the US is! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18572639)

I don't think there is a single solitary instance where the US has actually kept to a treaty when it did not advantage them. We have no concept of honourable dealing, and a strong interest in commercial advantage. Do you remember us actually charging the Brits for WW2?

Re:What a hypocrite the US is! (1)

nten (709128) | about 7 years ago | (#18572763)

"A prudent ruler cannot, and must not, honor his word when it puts him at disadvantage, and the reasons for his promise are now gone." -- Niccolò Machiavelli

What a shocker (4, Insightful)

dave420 (699308) | about 7 years ago | (#18572421)

The US ignores international pressure to stop being a dick. And people wonder why the world is turning against America. You can't be the loud-mouth, violent, drunk guy on your block, with engine parts all over your lawn, shooting guns at people who pass by, without expecting those people to not give you the time of day.

Re:What a shocker (1)

joe 155 (937621) | about 7 years ago | (#18572677)

you are correct. The shame is though that America had a real chance to push the rule of law throughout the world but it seems to have missed the boat a bit. Rouge states will use actions like this as a further example of hipocracy with which to try and resist the claims of international organisations; "the US doesn't listen to the WTO or UN, why should we". It is almost impossible to push the rule of law through international actors without accepting the rulings of those actors yourself. Would you follow the laws in your country if the head of the police force openly broke the law for his own gain?

And it doesn't seem to be labouring the point to see the US is actively helping the very people that they claim they wish to stop.

Re:What a shocker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18572863)

"You can't be the loud-mouth, violent, drunk guy on your block, with engine parts all over your lawn, shooting guns at people who pass by,"

You're wrong. That's normal and acceptable here.

Be a different race or religion than your neighbors? Then they don't give you the time of day.

Then again, where I am in Pennsyvlania, you can come to a 10-15 second stop at an intersection, then get ticketed for failure to stop at a stop sign (that alone boggles the mind) and, with an eyewitness supporting your obvious claim, LOSE your court case.

We can't even fix our own system, so I'm sure we're not the ones to fix someone else's system (Iraq) or tell other tradiing partners how to run their country (Antigua).

i need to tweak the anti-americanism here (3, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 7 years ago | (#18572555)

first off, the usa is not doing anything that every other country in the world does: act like a hypocrite. complain about another country doing xyz, while at the same time doing xyz as well

however, anyone who thinks the usa is special does need a comeuppance: the usa is just as hypocritical as china or russia or india or the majority of every other country in the world. at the same time, that observation is a double edged sword: the usa is no better, and NO WORSE, than these countries. seriously, find a crime the usa does, and tell me the majority of other countries in the world aren't guilty of the same thing

so the anti-americanism needs to be tweaked: the usa is not special and good, so if you thought it was, you need a spanking. at the same time, all the rabid anti-usa types need to check themselves if they think the usa deserves special prosecution for crimes every country is guilty of. all that needs to change is that the rabid patriotic americans need to wake up and admit they are wrong... the rabid anti-americans are STILL wrong, and always have been wrong

the only people with any valid opinion of the usa are those who do not especially love the usa, nor especially hate it. the usa does evil, the usa does good. much like every other country in the world. this balanced attitude is the only valid opinion. any other opinion is partisan propaganda, brain dead and unfair, whether anti-usa, or pro-usa

the usa is not special. not especially good, and not especially evil, either. listen up, braindead partisans

Re:i need to tweak the anti-americanism here (2, Insightful)

spyrochaete (707033) | about 7 years ago | (#18572649)

You don't think it's out of the ordinary that the country with the most nuclear weapons invaded another country for having weapons of mass destruction? Whether or not that turned out to be false (and we all know the answer to that one) that is a deplorable hypocrisy. The country with the largest nuclear arsenal most certainly is special.

Not necessarily on topic, but an important counterpoint to your generic statements, I feel.

ideas, not tribes (0)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 7 years ago | (#18572727)

i don't need nationalism to make my arguments

here's my argument: the idea is for all nations to get rid of nukes

therefore, pressure should be put on the usa to get rid of its nukes, AND all other nations should stop developing nukes

but if other nations, such as iran, should develop nukes, then we are moving backwards in nuclear antiproliferation, AND we are giving the usa a reason to keep its nukes

in such a way, it is possible to say that iran should NOT have nukes AND not be pro-american when you say that

get me?

the point is to base your arguments on ideas, not tribes. when you argue bindly anti-usa, or blindly pro-usa, you are in a trap, and you are a nationalist, and you fail

the only valid intellectually and moral arguments on any subject matter in this world is one that has no nationalistic flaovr. nothing pro-usa. nothing anti-usa. as soon as you make an argument on any problem in this world that supports or rejects a situation based on love or hatred of the usa, or any other country, for that matter, you lose, you fail, you're stuck in blind tribal nationalism

being anti-usa (or hatred for any other country for that matter) is a form of nationalism: nationalism is about thinking about problems in tribal terms, whether pro or anti. whether pro or anti, it does not matter, you're mind is trapped in an archaic way of thinking

IDEAS

not

TRIBES

the only intellectually and morally defensible position on any problem in this world is in terms of principles and universal principles of human nature and reality. NOT nationalism, whether pro, or anti

Re:i need to tweak the anti-americanism here (2, Insightful)

Fjodor42 (181415) | about 7 years ago | (#18572669)

Well said, for the most part. However, I still cringe, when I hear "We, as the leaders of the free world". If that is actually the American perception of itself (it may very well not be, but...), then most certainly, I would expect the US to adhere to a higher set of standards, and, at any rate, if they should want to instill this perception of the US in others, it holds even more true.

But you are still quite right, in that we actually do need to weigh the US on the same scale as other nations. It would just be easier, if the US itself would seem to agree on that. /F

yes, 100% agreed (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 7 years ago | (#18572761)

those who think the usa is special and goo din some way need to be taken down a few nothces. yes, it is a real problem that there are those in the usa who still think sunlight shines form their assholes

no, the usa does both evil in good in this world. that dispels all of the anti-americna bullshit, AND it dispels all of the pro-americna bullshit

anyone with some sort of special love for the usa is flat out stupid and blind. anyone with some sort of hatred for the usa is equally stupid and blind

those who see the usa neutrally, as doing both good and evil at the same time, are the only people with the ability to frame their opinions and attitudes in an intellectually and morally defensible framework

anyone blinded by tribal animosities or allegiances (the pro- or anti-usa partisan crowd) are utterly useless and wrong, and need to wake up

Re:yes, 100% agreed (1)

Fjodor42 (181415) | about 7 years ago | (#18572815)

Then indeed, we seem to see things just about the same way :-)

world has much to fear from american nationalism (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 7 years ago | (#18572979)

and much to fear from arab tribalism

and much to fear form chinese imperialism

and much to fear from russian colonialism

and much to fear from european patriotism

and much to fear form indian chauvanism

etc.

all of these things. not just the americans. not just the arabs

our only saving grace in this world is you and me, seriously: those who see our problems as human problems, not japanese/ pakistani/ indonesian/ brazilian/ etc. problems

that's the challenge of this 21st century: the defeat of nationalistic hubris/ tribal pride, the emergence of universally accepted standards of HUMAN brotherhood

you and i know are shared humanity is more important than the country on our passports. unfortunately, too many in this world think their national/ racial/ tribal allegience is more important than their simple shared human allegiance

the challenge of the 21st century is the defeat of such people

Re:i need to tweak the anti-americanism here (3, Insightful)

k8to (9046) | about 7 years ago | (#18572793)

As a longstanding, economically significant, democracy that's a political powerhouse on the global stage, you could defend the view that the United States is among the "leaders of the free world". But it's such a terrible way of phrasing things, and quite telling of the nature of the current administration's foreign policy. The notable part to me is not so much the self-importance of the phrase, but that it is clearly addressing the population of the country itself, and no one else.

Any successful executive speaks to his electoral power base, but typically speeches high profile enough to be heard outside the country are moderated to sound at least moderately reasonable. That the current sitting president and his staff feel comfortable using terminology you quote, which is actively alienating to citizens of allies, let alone disinterested countries, is telling of the strong current of isolationism which has defined the United States foreign policy for many decades.

I see no force of change which is capable of altering a society and political landscape this inwardly focused, and this vast, short of a complete and obvious loss of preeminence in global standing. Of course, the country is on track for this, but it is taking a while.

Re:i need to tweak the anti-americanism here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18572825)

So the only countries that had the right to invade Iraq would be those who had a neutral opinion towards it?
And a country should only be allowed to use the Kyoto treaty as toilet paper as long as its government has a neutral attitude towards big oil?
The Geneva convention only applies to those who don't care one way or the other?

I used to be neutral, but the USA has really started to piss me off. You are this close to no longer living in a democracy, yet do nothing about it and then praise indifference?

take all of those crimes (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 7 years ago | (#18572897)

now compare it to things china does

or russia

why does the things the usa does stand out as especially egregious? i see the same level of stink and hypocrisy and arrogance and evil in all 3 countries. so why aren't you hating russia or china?

if, however, you have "fallen out of love" with the usa, well ok then. just be balanced when you assess the crimes of the usa against the crimes of other countries. i think you'll find the usa does wrong to the same degree as the majority of other countries. therefore, it is not to be loved. but it is also not to be hated, or, not hated anymore than you would hate any other countries

This would be "free" as in "costs money", eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18572601)

One possibility that's been thrown out there is that Antigua may turn itself into a haven for free music and software ...

That would be a stupid way to retaliate. Spend money on bandwidth and get nothing in return.

... and set up some site like allofmp3.com.

Oooh, that kind of 'free' music. The kind you have to pay money for. In that case, please retaliate away, Antigua and/or Barbados!

Same as our Softwood lumber (4, Interesting)

MrShaggy (683273) | about 7 years ago | (#18572625)

The US slapped a tariff on our (Canadian) Softwood lumber exports into your country. Claiming that our Industry is heavily subsided by the government.

These fines have added up to 2 billion dollars. We had gone repeatedly to the WTO about the issue, and they said that we were in the right, and that the US must gives our money back. This has been going over 10 years.

The US knows that it is in the wrong. However they simply won't pay the fine.
So forget about anyone else getting any rulings through the WTO.

When lawmakers pander to the ignorant masses... (1)

dgun (1056422) | about 7 years ago | (#18572651)

we get ridiculous inconsistencies like this one. And they do it all the time, so...

These loopholes are the main reasons that the panel ruled the U.S. is violating trade laws. Because the U.S. allows certain types of online gambling transactions to take place within its borders, but actively tries to stop the same services from being offered by companies located outside the U.S., the U.S. is violating WTO agreements.
To be in compliance with the WTO ruling, seems to me that the US would either need to close the loopholes (horse and dog racing simulcasting, for example) or drop the provisions against wired transactions for other forms of gambling. The easiest fix would be the latter, IMO.

Tenth Amendment (1)

rlp (11898) | about 7 years ago | (#18572737)

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved for the States respectively, or to the people.

In the United States, gambling is regulated by the states. Some states (Nevada) have gambling everywhere. Some states have it at select locations. Some states prohibit it. Allowing Internet gambling essentially puts a casino in every household and overrides the ability of states to regulate gambling. Within the US, foreign treaties do not take precedence over the Constitution.

Re:Tenth Amendment (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | about 7 years ago | (#18572923)

Well then the on-line gambling you can currently engage in within the US should also be banned. However its my understanding that this isn't the case hence the charges of protectionism.

did anyone notice the broken link? (1)

hardcorejon (31717) | about 7 years ago | (#18572781)

It never amazes me how much people can flame without even reading the article, which in this case is impossible since slashdot posted a broken link in the story. Hopefully it will be fixed soon.

    - jonathan.

Re:did anyone notice the broken link? (1)

Intron (870560) | about 7 years ago | (#18572877)

...and now that the link is fixed, we find out that the article is, well, lame.

Divi Divi Trees and Cactus (1)

malia8888 (646496) | about 7 years ago | (#18572901)

It has been several years since I have been to Antigua; but, I remember (vaguely) that the main thing going for the desert island fraught with huge stands of inpenetrable cactus was its well irrigated, manicured, hotel/casinos.

Instead of trying to crush Antigua's efforts to maintain and expand their economy I think they should be lauded for their ingenuity. This country is not crying out for a hand out, they are relieving gamblers of their funds. Anyone who has spent any time around the gambling public of any nation will agree they will bet on cockroach races if nothing else is available.

P.S. "Sparky the Wonder Roach" is a good bet in the 12th race.

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