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 country’s trade dispute with the US at the United Nations General Assembly month that is last. (Image:

Antigua and Barbuda, the tiny twin-island Caribbean country which has been involved in an online gambling trade dispute with the United States for the decade, is always to enter into talks due to the fact two edges seek to maneuver towards a solution. A meeting is followed by the move between 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 US government on its citizens that are own using the islands’ online gambling solutions. In 2003, Antigua and Barbuda complained to the planet Trade Organization (WTO) that America’s stance contravened the General Agreement on Trades and Services (GATS), a global treaty, drawn up by the WTO in 1995, which is designed to eliminate barriers to trade.

The result, which likely embarrassed the US and surprised probably also Antigua and Barbuda, was that the WTO sided with all the islands, ruling, in March 2004, and however in 2007, that by refusing market that is full to online gambling operators on the islands, the US, a paid-up member associated with WTO, was at 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 type of authorization to ignore US patent and copyright laws, arguing that this ended up being the value of trade lost being a result associated with the restriction of online gambling services between the two countries. This would potentially have allowed the islands to disregard the property that is intellectual folks organizations, such as for example those in the movie and music industry, in order to resell their assets.

The US, which argued, and continues to take action, that it never meant its commitment to GATS to include on line gambling, offered different concessions that are undisclosed the islands rather than those demanded, but refused to help make the nature of these concessions general public, despite 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 month that is last Browne brought the matter up at the United Nations General Assembly, where he called on the US to be in the matter, a move that prompted the renewed talks. Both parties have now agreed to construct group to interact regarding the dispute.

‘we am encouraged that my administration has been able 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 things.’

History of on the web in Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda ended up being an adopter that is early of gambling, creating a framework for regulation as far back as 1994, as soon as the industry ended up being 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 who were turning in $ 7 billion in income between them. This was also around the time that the united states started cracking down on online gambling operators and banks that are barring processing transactions, and thus the number of licensees begun 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 towards the WTO, over 80 per cent had left the area.

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 workers reduced Atlantic City to gridlock this week that is past blocking roadways in protest against Trump Entertainment’s plans to cut pensions and benefits. The embattled company is seeking permission from a bankruptcy court to split agreements with workers so that you can keep the Taj Mahal open and prevent Chapter 11.

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

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

Trump Entertainment has said it will be forced to close the Taj on November 13th unless the employment concessions are awarded. It can also be demanding $25 million in aid from local government, plus a significantly paid off tax evaluation. Trump Entertainment in addition has requested authorization become bought out 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 just if’ the concessions are granted.

Protestors Blame Icahn

Significantly, the demonstrations occurred near to the Tropicana, which is owned by Icahn, rather than 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 slogan, ‘Billionaire picking over our bones.’

This week’s protest took destination on the 10th anniversary of a similar work dispute that saw people of Unite right Here 54 go out of seven Atlantic City gambling enterprises, effectively shutting them down for per month.

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

Employees are now 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 local presbyterian minister and some of those arrested. ‘If we permit the Taj to just take away advantages, all the casinos will do away with them.’

Trump Name Removed

Earlier in the week, the Trump name ended up being eliminated by employees from the front of the Taj. Donald Trump established a lawsuit several months ago for breach of the licensing agreement he finalized with Trump Entertainment five years ago. As 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 business in ’09, negotiating a deal with Trump Entertainment to retain a ten percent stake, in return for continued use of the Trump brand. Since that time he has had nothing in connection with the management for the Trump properties, and has been fiercely critical of its owners.

‘This represents a great success for us,’ said Ivanka Trump, who confirmed the removal of the name from casino signage. ‘This has been an ongoing struggle and we have been litigating it for some months.’

PPA’s John Pappas Makes Federal Ban Panorama 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 internet poker. That’s the message from John Pappas, president of the grassroots organization that fights for the passions of online poker players throughout the US.

Well, that is just what it seemed like Pappas was saying, but a subsequent statement that is follow-up an interview made his views, shall we say, murky to say the minimum.

Pappas ended up being 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 lame duck session. Several panelists at 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 other than poker unlawful’ this November.

‘There’s truly opportunity for some shenanigans to happen [during the lame duck session] and every person into the video gaming industry should be keeping a close view about what Congress may do,’ warned Pappas. a lame duck session refers towards the period when Congress meets after elections have actually happened, but before newly elected representatives’ terms begin.

Some posters on poker forums were 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 such a bill, the PPA offered complete help.

Federal Carve-out Acceptable, Or Is It?

However, Pappas later clarified his position. Sort of.

‘If there was a bill that banned online casino games but legalized online poker at the level that is federal 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 did not 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 they wanted to legalize and manage, with the exception that online casino gambling would no longer be an alternative for them. On a state degree, he states, online poker needs the revenue that is extra by online casinos to gain a foothold.

‘We’re likely to fight tooth and nail to guard the passions of poker players, but poker-only in the US might not be a sustainable model to benefit players, long-lasting,’ he explained. ‘We as a poker community need to observe that the success of poker often is built on other forms of gaming,’ he included. ‘ If you take off all other games in america market, investment and interest would shrink considerably.’

Like we said…huh?


It’s seems likely, too, that the PPA feels it needs to stand strong, under its own terms, against Adelson additionally the proponents of Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) towards the bitter end. Only if RAWA is passed away by Congress, the case scenario that is worst for the PPA, will it be essential to engage in a spot of realpolitik and work to negotiate a carve-out for poker.

However, possibly an even more threat that is real the PPA than the lame duck session could be the Republicans using on the Senate next year as predicted, therefore toppling internet poker sympathizer Reid from his position as majority frontrunner. This would undoubtedly favor Adelson’s cause as a major donor to the republicans.