GENEVA The World Trade Organisation (WTO) on
Friday confirmed its ruling the United States had done nothing
to abide by an earlier verdict that labelled some U.S. Internet
gambling restrictions as illegal.
In a published version of findings in a complaint brought
by Antigua and Barbuda, initially sent to the parties in
January, the Geneva-based trade referee said the Caribbean
island had provided additional evidence that strengthened its
"The panel concludes that the United States has failed to
comply with the recommendations and rulings of the (WTO's) DSB
(Dispute Settlement Body)," the WTO said in the ruling, which
can be appealed.
At issue was an April 2005 WTO verdict against U.S.
prohibitions on online betting, notably on horse racing. Since
then, the U.S. Congress has passed additional legislation to
ban betting over the Internet.
Antigua has built up an online gambling industry to make up
for declining revenues from tourism.
"This is a smashing success for Antigua in every possible
way. The report will sweep away any lingering doubt that
Antigua has obtained a clear and convincing win over the United
States in this matter," said John W. Ashe, Antigua's ambassador
to the WTO. There was no immediate reaction from Washington.
In the ruling, the WTO panel of three trade judges said
that the United States had not contested the Antiguan charge
that it had done nothing to implement the 2005 ruling.
Instead, Washington had simply sought to re-open the case,
but without giving the panel any grounds to do so, it said.