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US and Antigua dispute WTO ruling

The United States and the Caribbean state of Antigua and Barbuda are both claiming victory in a trade dispute over online gambling.
It follows a ruling by the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) top court, which partly reversed an earlier decision that was significantly in Antigua's favor.

Washington said the ruling accepted it could prevent Antiguan online gambling firms from operating in the US. Yet Antigua said its firms would still be able to enter the US market.

The US said it would be able to adjust its existing laws to meet the WTO rules at the same time as halting overseas gambling firms to "protect public morals or maintain public order".

"US restrictions on internet gambling can be maintained," said acting US trade representative Peter Allgeier.

Yet lawyers for twin island Antigua and Barbuda said the WTO's final 127-page verdict would "pave the way for new opportunities for Antiguan gaming operators".

The case before the WTO dated back to 2003 when Antigua complained that its growing number of online gambling companies were not properly able to access US customers due to federal laws barring the placing of bets across state lines by electronic means.


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