Antigua and Barbuda Seeks US Gambling Trade Dispute End

Antigua and Barbuda Seeks US Gambling Trade Dispute End

Gaston Brown, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, whom brought up the country’s trade dispute with the US during the United Nations General Assembly month that is last. (Image:

Antigua and Barbuda, the tiny twin-island Caribbean nation which has been in an online gambling trade dispute with the usa for a decade, would be to enter into talks because the two sides seek to go towards an answer. A meeting is followed by the move between the islands’ Prime Minister Gaston Browne and US Trade Representative Michael Froman.

The David and Goliath battle started when Antigua and Barbuda objected to the block imposed by the US government on its own residents from using the islands’ online gambling services. An international treaty, drawn up by the WTO in 1995, which is designed to remove barriers to trade in 2003, Antigua and Barbuda complained to the World Trade Organization (WTO) that America’s stance contravened the General Agreement on Trades and Services ( GATS.

The result, which likely embarrassed the usa and amazed probably also Antigua and Barbuda, was that the WTO sided using the islands, ruling, in March 2004, and then again in 2007, that by refusing market that is full to online gambling operators on the islands, the United States, a paid-up member of the WTO, was in breach of its treaty obligations.

$3.4 Billion in Trade Sanctions

Buoyed by its success, Antigua and Barbuda filed a claim for $3.4 billion in trade sanctions against the united states, within the form of authorization to ignore US patent and the laws of copyright, arguing that this had been the value of trade lost as being a total result associated with restriction of online gambling services between the two countries. This would potentially have allowed the islands to disregard the intellectual property rights folks firms, such as for instance those in the film and music industry, to be able to resell their assets.

The US, which argued, and continues to take action, that it never meant its dedication to GATS to include on line gambling, offered different undisclosed concessions to the islands as opposed to those demanded, but refused to really make the nature of these concessions general public, despite phone calls from Congressmen Barney Frank and Ron Paul to do so.

The situation remains unresolved,but still burns brightly in the minds the island’s citizens today. Simply last thirty days, Browne brought the matter up at the un General Assembly, where he called on the united states to stay the matter, a move that prompted the renewed talks. Both parties have now agreed to construct group to come together in the dispute.

‘we am encouraged that my administration has been in a position to secure an ending up in the United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Froman, so early,’ said Browne. ‘Ambassador Froman is a Cabinet-level officer of the US Government and this should facilitate decision-making on policy issues.’

History of on the web in Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda was an adopter that is early of gambling, creating a framework for regulation as far back as 1994, if the industry had been in its infancy. Low taxes and investment in tech infrastructure soon began operators that are drawing. By the year 2000, the islands had 93 online gambling licensees who had been turning in $ 7 billion in income between them. This had been also around the time that the united states started cracking down on online gambling operators and barring banks from processing transactions, and for that reason the number of licensees began to plunge, decimating the industry on the islands.

By 2002, the number of operators had dropped to 38 and, by the the following year, when Antigua and Barbuda filed its complaint to your WTO, over 80 % had left the area.

Trump Taj Mahal Protests Create Atlantic City Gridlock

24 people were arrested as Taj Mahal union workers protested reduced advantages near Carl Icahn’s Tropicana in Atlantic City. (Image: Ron Tarver/

Trump Taj Mahal workers reduced Atlantic City to gridlock this previous week, blocking roadways in protest against Trump Entertainment’s plans to cut retirement benefits and benefits. The embattled company is looking for permission from a bankruptcy court to split contracts with workers in an attempt to keep the Taj Mahal open and steer clear of Chapter 11.

Twenty-four people were arrested as hundreds of members associated with the Unite Here 54 union blocked traffic at the downtown that is busy of Missouri and Arctic Avenues in a show of arranged ‘civil disobedience.’

No one was reported injured during the protests and none of the protestors who have been arrested attempted to resist. While Unite Here said that 750 people attended the demonstration, police estimated the true numbers at around 300.

Trump Entertainment has stated it’ll be forced to close the Taj on 13th unless the employment concessions are granted november. It normally demanding $25 million in aid from local government, along with a significantly reduced tax assessment. Trump Entertainment in addition has requested permission become bought out by billionaire investor Carl Icahn, the holder that is major of debt, by transforming that debt into ownership. As owner, Icahn would invest $100 then million to keep the Taj alive, but that is ‘if and only if’ the concessions are granted.

Protestors Blame Icahn

Significantly, the demonstrations occurred close to the Tropicana, which is owned by Icahn, as opposed to the Taj, and it is clear that many employees blame him for the threat to their benefits; many held placards featuring images of Icahn, emblazoned using the slogan, ‘Billionaire picking over our bones.’

This week’s protest took spot regarding the 10th anniversary of a comparable work dispute that saw users of Unite Here 54 walk out of seven Atlantic City gambling enterprises, effectively closing them straight down for per month.

‘When they were rolling in money, they desired to go on it all away from us decade ago,’ said union president Bob McDevitt.

Workers are now actually concerned one casino cutting benefits could trigger an effect that is domino. ‘Casino gambling, when it arrived here 38 years back, promised middle-class jobs,’ stated the Rev. John Scotland, a regional presbyterian minister and one of those arrested. ‘with them. if we enable the Taj to take away benefits, all the gambling enterprises will do away’

Trump Name Removed

Earlier in the week, the Trump name was eliminated by workers from the front of the Taj. Donald Trump launched a lawsuit months that are several for breach of the licensing agreement he signed with Trump Entertainment 5 years ago. Even though the Taj Mahal, along with the recently shuttered Trump Plaza, was once one of ‘The Donald’s’ pet projects, he left the casino company during 2009, negotiating a deal with Trump Entertainment to retain a 10 percent stake, in return for continued utilization of the Trump brand name. Since then he has had nothing at all to do with the management of the Trump properties, and contains been fiercely critical of its owners.

‘This represents a great triumph for us,’ said Ivanka Trump, who confirmed the removal of the title from casino signage. ‘This is a struggle that is ongoing we’ve been litigating it for some months.’

PPA’s John Pappas Makes Federal Ban Panorama Crystal Murky

John Pappas, PPA President, makes some patently unclear statements about their stand on a federal online ban. (Image: Bloomberg/

The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) will fight any legislation that seeks to ban gaming that is online a federal degree, even if it contains a carve-out for on-line poker. That is the message from John Pappas, president of the grassroots organization that fights for the passions of online poker players throughout the United States.

Well, that’s just what it seemed like Pappas had been saying, however a subsequent follow-up statement in an interview made his views, shall we say, murky to say the least.

Pappas ended up being reacting to a wide range of rumors circulating of a move to push through a federal bill to ban remote gaming with a carve-out for poker during Congress’ forthcoming duck session that is lame. Several panelists during the G2E that is recent gambling in Las Vegas repeated the rumors, including Bally Technologies CEO John Connelly, who said he expected an initiative to create ‘everything apart from poker unlawful’ this November.

‘There’s truly opportunity for some shenanigans to happen [during the duck that is lame] and everyone else into the gaming industry should be maintaining a close watch about what Congress may do,’ warned Pappas. a duck that is lame refers to your period when Congress meets after elections have actually occurred, but before newly elected representatives’ terms begin.

Some posters on poker forums had been alarmed at Pappas’ statement, seeing it being a departure from the PPA’s stated goals. In 2012, whenever Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) and Senator Jon Kyl (R-Arizona) had been examining the viability of these a bill, the PPA offered full support.

Federal Carve-out Acceptable, Or Perhaps Is It?

However, Pappas later clarified his position. Sort of.

‘If there was clearly a bill that banned online casino games but legalized on-line poker at the federal level, we would support that all day long,’ he told Wait, don’t he say earlier in the day that without casino games, online isn’t sustainable? We’re confused.

Pappas says he is worried that a ‘carve-out’ for poker that didn’t legalize the game at a level that is federal merely represent a continuation of the status quo, whereby it might be as much as individual states to decide whether or not they wanted to legalize and regulate, with the exception that online casino gambling would no longer be an alternative for them. On a state degree, he states, online poker needs the additional revenue provided by online casinos to gain a foothold.

‘We’re planning to fight enamel and nail to safeguard the passions of poker players, but poker-only in the US might not be a model that is sustainable benefit players, long-term,’ he explained. ‘We as a poker community need to recognize that the prosperity of poker often is built on other forms of gaming,’ he included. ‘ If you stop all other games in the usa market, investment and interest would shrink considerably.’

Like we said…huh?


It’s seems likely, too, that the PPA feels it has to stand strong, under its very own terms, against Adelson therefore the proponents of Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) to your end that is bitter. Only if RAWA is passed by Congress, the worst case scenario for the PPA, will it be necessary to engage in a spot of realpolitik and work to negotiate a carve-out for poker.

However, possibly an even more real danger to the PPA than the lame duck session may be the Republicans using throughout the Senate next year as predicted, hence toppling online poker sympathizer Reid from his position as majority frontrunner. This would undoubtedly favor Adelson’s cause as a major donor to the republicans.