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 at the United Nations General Assembly final month. (Image:

Antigua and Barbuda, the tiny twin-island Caribbean nation which includes been involved in an gambling that is online dispute with america for the decade, would be to enter into talks because the two sides look for to move towards a solution. A meeting is followed by the move involving 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 government on its citizens that are own 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), a worldwide treaty, drawn up by the WTO in 1995, which is designed to eliminate barriers to trade.

The result, which likely embarrassed the usa and surprised 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 market that is full to online gambling operators on the islands, the United States, 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 US, in the as a type of authorization to ignore US patent and copyright laws, arguing that this was the value of trade lost as a result regarding the restriction of online gambling services between the two countries. This would potentially have allowed the hawaiian islands to ignore the intellectual property rights folks firms, such as those in the film and music industry, in order to resell their assets.

The united states, which argued, and continues to do so, that it never meant its commitment to GATS to include on line gambling, offered various undisclosed concessions to the islands in place of those demanded, but refused to help 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 settle the matter, a move that prompted the renewed talks. Both parties have now agreed to build group to come together regarding the dispute.

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

History of on the web in Antigua and Barbuda

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

By 2002, the quantity of operators had dropped to 38 and, by the year that is next when Antigua and Barbuda filed its complaint towards the WTO, over 80 percent had left the island.

Trump Taj Mahal Protests Create Atlantic City Gridlock

24 everyone was 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 available and prevent Chapter 11.

Twenty-four people were arrested as hundreds of members for the Unite Here 54 union blocked traffic at the busy downtown intersection of Missouri and Arctic Avenues in a show of orderly ‘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 individuals attended the demonstration, authorities estimated the true figures at around 300.

Trump Entertainment has said it’s going to be forced to close the Taj on November 13th unless the employment concessions are granted. It can be demanding $25 million in aid from state government, plus a significantly reduced tax assessment. Trump Entertainment in addition has requested permission to be bought out by billionaire investor Carl Icahn, the holder that is major of debt, by converting that financial obligation into ownership. As owner, Icahn would then spend $100 million to keep the Taj alive, but that’s ‘if and just if’ the concessions are granted.

Protestors Blame Icahn

Significantly, the demonstrations occurred near the Tropicana, which is owned by Icahn, rather than the Taj, and it’s clear that numerous workers blame him for the threat to their advantages; many held placards featuring pictures of Icahn, emblazoned aided by the motto, ‘Billionaire picking over our bones.’

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

‘When they were rolling in money, they wished to take it all away from us 10 years ago,’ said union president Bob McDevitt.

Workers are actually concerned one casino cutting benefits could trigger an effect that is domino. ‘Casino gambling, when it came here 38 years ago, promised middle-class jobs,’ stated the Rev. John Scotland, A presbyterian that is local minister those types of arrested. ‘with them. if we enable the Taj to remove benefits, all the casinos 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 several months ago for breach of the licensing agreement he signed with Trump Entertainment 5 years ago. While the Taj Mahal, along with the recently shuttered Trump Plaza, was once one of ‘The Donald’s’ pet projects, the casino was left by him company in 2009, negotiating a deal with Trump Entertainment to retain a ten percent stake, in return for continued use of the Trump brand. Ever since then he has had nothing to do with the management associated with Trump properties, and has been fiercely critical of its owners.

‘This represents a great victory for us,’ said Ivanka Trump, who confirmed the elimination of the title from casino signage. ‘This is a struggle that is ongoing we’ve been litigating it for a few 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 ban that is online. (Image: Bloomberg/

The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) will fight any legislation that seeks to ban online gaming at a federal level, even if it contains a carve-out for on-line poker. That’s the message from John Pappas, president of the grassroots organization that fights for the interests of Internet poker players through the entire United States.

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

Pappas had been reacting to a range rumors circulating of the move to push through a federal bill to ban remote gaming with a carve-out for poker during Congress’ forthcoming lame duck session. Several panelists during the recent G2E gambling expo 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 definitely opportunity for some shenanigans to happen [during the duck that is lame] and everybody else in the video gaming industry should be maintaining a close view on which Congress may do,’ warned Pappas. a lame duck session refers towards the period when Congress meets after elections have happened, but before newly elected representatives’ terms begin.

Some posters on poker forums were alarmed at Pappas’ statement, seeing it as being a departure from the PPA’s reported goals. The PPA offered full support in 2012, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) and Senator Jon Kyl (R-Arizona) were examining the viability of such a bill.

Federal Carve-out Acceptable, Or Is It?

However, Pappas later clarified his position. Sort of.

‘If there was clearly a bill that banned on line casino games but legalized on-line poker at the level that is federal 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’s concerned that the ‘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 if they wanted to legalize and control, with the exception that online casino gambling would no longer be an option for them. On a state level, he says, internet poker needs the revenue that is extra by online casinos to gain a foothold.

‘We’re likely to fight enamel and nail to safeguard the passions of poker players, but poker-only in the US might not be considered a model that is sustainable benefit players, long-lasting,’ he explained. ‘We as a poker community need to observe that the prosperity of poker often is created on other forms of gaming,’ he added. ‘ If you cut off 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 stay strong, under its own terms, against Adelson therefore the proponents of Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) to the bitter end. Just if RAWA is passed away 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 could be the Republicans taking over the Senate next year as predicted, thus toppling online poker sympathizer Reid from his position as majority leader. As being a major donor towards the Republicans, this would certainly favor Adelson’s cause.