Education International
Education International

U.S has failed to comply in gambling case: WTO panel

published 28 February 2007 updated 28 February 2007

A WTO panel has found that the United States has failed to comply with a controversial ruling against American restrictions on Internet gambling.

In a decision released in January, the panel supported the claims of Antigua and Barbuda that the United States failed to take any measures to bring its prohibitions on online gambling in line with the WTO’s findings.

In April 2005, the WTO found that restrictions on internet gambling in the U.S. violated the United States’ scheduled commitments under the GATS. The panel found that the U.S. market access commitments in “other recreational services” includes gambling services, thereby rejecting Washington’s claim that it never intended to allow the cross-border supply of such services.

The panel also found that the U.S. commitment to allow unrestricted market access on recreational services applies to all means of delivery, including the Internet.

For many observers, the case raises serious concerns about the potential for WTO rules to trump domestic regulatory measures.