[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 7 April, 2005, 20:14 GMT 21:14 UK
US and Antigua dispute WTO ruling
Gambling chips
The United States and the tiny Caribbean state of Antigua and Barbuda are both claiming victory in a trade dispute over online gambling.

It follows a ruling by the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) top court, which partially reversed an earlier decision that was greatly in Antigua's favour.

Washington said the ruling accepted it could prevent Antiguan online gambling firms from operating in the US.

Yet Antigua said its firms would still be able to enter the US market.

The exact situation will probably prove to be somewhere in-between.

'Landmark victory'

The US said it would be able to adjust its existing laws to meet the WTO rules at the same time as halting overseas gambling firms to "protect public morals or maintain public order".

"US restrictions on internet gambling can be maintained," said acting US trade representative Peter Allgeier.

Yet lawyers for twin island Antigua and Barbuda said the WTO's final 127-page verdict would "pave the way for new...opportunities for Antiguan gaming operators".

"This is a landmark victory for Antigua as the first, and smallest, WTO member to defeat the United States, the largest member, in this well-respected international trade court," they said.

The case before the WTO dated back to 2003 when Antigua complained that its growing number of online gambling companies were not properly able to access US customers due to federal laws barring the placing of bets across state lines by electronic means.

Antigua and Barbuda relies on online gaming for a significant proportion of its foreign currency earnings as it seeks to lower its reliance upon the tourism sector.

Going good for Britain's bookies
04 Mar 04 |  Business
Warning over traditional gambling
02 Mar 04 |  UK Election 2005
Public 'opposes gambling shake-up'
10 Dec 03 |  Lancashire
Blackpool: The new Las Vegas?
17 Jul 01 |  Business

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific