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, who brought up the nation’s trade dispute with the US during the United Nations General Assembly last month. (Image:

Antigua and Barbuda, the tiny twin-island Caribbean country which includes been in an online gambling trade dispute with the usa for the decade, would be to enter into talks due to the fact two sides look for to maneuver towards a solution. A meeting is followed by the move between your islands’ Prime Minister Gaston Browne and US Trade Representative Michael Froman.

The David and Goliath battle began when Antigua and Barbuda objected to the block imposed by the government on its own citizens from using the islands’ online gambling solutions. In 2003, Antigua and Barbuda reported to the World Trade Organization (WTO) that America’s stance contravened the General Agreement on Trades and Services (GATS), an international treaty, drawn up by the WTO in 1995, which is created to remove barriers to trade.

The result, which likely embarrassed the usa and amazed most likely also Antigua and Barbuda, was that the WTO sided with all the islands, ruling, in March 2004, and on the other hand in 2007, that by refusing full market access to online gambling operators on the islands, the US, a paid-up member regarding 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 kind of authorization to ignore US patent and copyright laws, arguing that this ended up being the value of trade lost being a result of the restriction of online gambling services between the two countries. This would potentially have allowed the islands to ignore the property that is intellectual folks organizations, such as for instance those in the movie and music industry, so that you can resell their assets.

The usa, which argued, and continues to take action, it never meant its commitment to GATS to include on the web gambling, offered various concessions that are undisclosed the islands instead of those demanded, but refused to 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 US to stay the matter, a move that prompted the renewed talks. Both parties have now agreed to put together an united team to come together on the dispute.

‘we have always been encouraged that my administration has been able to secure a meeting with the United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Froman, so early,’ said Browne. ‘Ambassador Froman is a officer that is cabinet-level of US Government and this should facilitate decision-making on policy issues.’

History of Online in Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda ended up being an early adopter of online gambling, creating a framework for regulation as far back as 1994, once the industry had been in its infancy. Low taxes and investment in tech infrastructure soon began drawing operators. By the year 2000, the islands had 93 online gambling licensees have been turning in $ 7 billion in income among them. This ended up being also around the time that the usa started cracking straight down on online gambling operators and banks that are barring processing transactions, and thus the number of licensees began to plunge, decimating the industry in the islands.

By 2002, the wide range of operators had dropped to 38 and, by the year that is next whenever Antigua and Barbuda filed its complaint to your WTO, over 80 per cent had left the island.

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 employees reduced Atlantic City to gridlock this past week, blocking roads in protest against Trump Entertainment’s plans to cut pensions and benefits. The embattled company is seeking permission from a bankruptcy court to break agreements with workers in an effort to keep the Taj Mahal open and steer clear of Chapter 11.

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

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

Trump Entertainment has stated it’s going to be forced to close the Taj on November 13th unless the employment concessions are provided. It can be demanding $25 million in aid from local government, and also a significantly paid down tax evaluation. Trump Entertainment has additionally requested permission to be taken over by billionaire investor Carl Icahn, the holder that is major of debt, by converting 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 took place near to the Tropicana, which is owned by Icahn, as opposed to the Taj, and it is clear that numerous employees blame him for the threat to their benefits; many held placards featuring images of Icahn, emblazoned utilizing the motto, ‘Billionaire picking over our bones.’

This week’s protest took destination in the 10th anniversary of a similar labor dispute that saw people of Unite Here 54 go out of seven Atlantic City gambling enterprises, effectively closing them straight down for 30 days.

‘When they were rolling in cash, they wanted to take it all away from us ten years ago,’ said union president Bob McDevitt.

Employees are actually concerned one casino cutting benefits could trigger a domino effect. ‘Casino gambling, when it arrived here 38 years ago, promised middle-class jobs,’ stated the Rev. John Scotland, a regional presbyterian minister and one particular arrested. ‘Whenever we enable the Taj to simply take away benefits, most of the casinos will do away with them.’

Trump Name Removed

Earlier in the week, the Trump title had been eliminated by workers from the front of the Taj. Donald Trump established a lawsuit months that are several for breach of the licensing agreement he finalized with Trump Entertainment five years ago. Although the Taj Mahal, along with the recently shuttered Trump Plaza, was when one of ‘The Donald’s’ pet projects, he left the casino business last year, negotiating a deal with Trump Entertainment to retain a ten percent stake, in return for continued usage of the Trump brand name. Since then he has had nothing in connection with the management regarding the Trump properties, and contains been fiercely critical of its owners.

‘This represents a victory that is great us,’ said Ivanka Trump, who confirmed the elimination of the title from casino signage. ‘This happens to be an ongoing struggle and we have been litigating it for many months.’

PPA’s John Pappas Makes Federal Ban Views Crystal Murky

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

The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) will fight any legislation that seeks to ban gaming that is online a federal level, 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 interests of online poker players through the entire United States.

Well, that’s what it seemed like Pappas ended up being saying, but a subsequent follow-up statement in an interview made his views, shall we say, murky to express the least.

Pappas was responding to a quantity of rumors circulating of a move to push by way of 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 present G2E gambling expo in Las Vegas repeated the rumors, including Bally Technologies CEO John Connelly, who said he expected an initiative to produce ‘everything apart from poker illegal’ this November.

‘There’s definitely opportunity for some shenanigans to happen [during the lame duck session] and everybody else into the gaming industry should be maintaining a close view on what Congress may do,’ warned Pappas. a lame duck session relates towards the period when Congress meets after elections have occurred, but before newly elected representatives’ terms begin.

Some posters on poker forums had been alarmed at Pappas’ statement, seeing it as a departure from the PPA’s stated goals. In 2012, whenever Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) and Senator Jon Kyl (R-Arizona) were 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 clearly was a bill that banned on line casino games but legalized on-line poker at the federal degree, we would support that all day long,’ he told Wait, did not he say earlier that without casino games, online isn’t sustainable? We’re confused.

Pappas says he is concerned that a ‘carve-out’ for poker that failed to legalize the game at a level that is federal merely represent a continuation of the status quo, whereby it might be up to individual states to decide whether or not they wanted to legalize and control, with the exception that online casino gambling would no longer be a choice for them. On a state level, he claims, internet poker needs the additional revenue provided by online casinos to gain a foothold.

‘We’re going to fight tooth and nail to safeguard the passions of poker players, but poker-only in the US may well not be described as a model that is sustainable benefit players, long-term,’ he explained. ‘We as a poker community need to observe that the success of poker often is made on other forms of video gaming,’ he added. ‘ If you stop all other games in the US 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 and also the proponents of Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) towards the bitter end. Only if RAWA is passed by Congress, the worst case scenario for the PPA, will it become essential to engage in a spot of realpolitik and work to negotiate a carve-out for poker.

However, perhaps an even more real threat to the PPA than the lame duck session is the Republicans taking on the Senate next year as predicted, therefore toppling internet poker sympathizer Reid from his position as majority frontrunner. As being a major donor to the Republicans, this would undoubtedly favor Adelson’s cause.

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