There are talks between some RUa based online gambling companies and the Antigua government of challenging the 2006 US illegal new Internet gambling application act. This act was added from the US deed on September 30th left safe but still not signed into law. The basic thrust of the law is to try to prevent the flow of funds from US players to online gambling websites. It imposes current laws regarding online gambling. It does this by requiring banks to monitor and block transactions at and online gambling companies from US online customers. President Bush plans to review the new legislation later this week.
Antigua, which is willing to work with UK companies like Sportingbet, is determined to challenge what they believe to be US protectionism on the Internet playing laws. Antigua has previously challenged US laws on the Internet playing and has succeeded accordingly.
In 2005, the World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled that laws on online gambling from the United States went against the WTO agreements after Antigua and Barbuda filed complaints. Dr. John W. Ashe, Antigua and Barbuda’s ambassador to the WTO, argued that the Americans, stating that two new banning proposals currently before the US Congress have worsened the situation. The WTO ruled that the Appellate Body in April 2005 upheld one of Antigua and Barbuda’s over US claims prohibitions thereby preventing US banks and major Internet search engines from making business with gaming companies on the island. The WTO gave the US until April 2006, to implement its decision.
This November a decision will be issued from a WTO panel if the United States had complied with the rules. This was not the first time that the US has not complied with certain WTO rules and regulations.
Currently, anti-government officials are building a fund against new US legislation that they believe is contrary to the WTO ruling. According to these officials, the new legislation puts the United States on a direct course of collision with the WTO making their case much stronger.
Mark Mendel, a lawyer who represents Antigua in the WTO believes that the new US legislation makes their case much stronger when presented to the WTO.
Nigel Payne, senior executive for Sportingbet who is licensed to operate in Antigua, Antiguan authorities visited since Tuesday afternoon to discuss said US legislation. This would allow the UK to help Antigua build the fund against new US legislation.