April 3 - Deadline for U.S. Compliance With WTO Gambling Ruling Comes and Goes Without U.S. Action

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today marks the deadline for the United States to bring into compliance U.S. laws relating to the ban on Internet gambling that a World Trade Organization (WTO) tribunal ruled against last year. The U.S. government has taken no action to change the U.S. law that the WTO panel identified as violating U.S. WTO obligations. Thus, the United States is now subject to trade sanctions.

Shortly after the ruling, a bipartisan group of 29 state attorneys general sent a letter asking United States Trade Representative (USTR) Rob Portman to remove gambling from the list of U.S. service sectors bound to meet WTO rules, writing, “USTR assured state officials that if the Appellate Body upheld the lower panel’s ruling on this point, the United States could act to withdraw the gambling sector from the United States’ specific GATS [General Agreement on Trade in Services] commitments. We urge you to do so … We believe that under our constitutional system of federalism, states should continue to have the flexibility and sovereign authority to determine whether and under what conditions gambling occurs within their borders.” However, this demand has not been heeded by the Bush administration, thus exposing many more U.S. gambling laws, including state laws, to challenges by other countries at the WTO.

Read the entire press release.

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