Gaston Brown, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, whom brought up the country’s trade dispute with the US during the United Nations General Assembly month that is last. (Image: winnfm.com)
Antigua and Barbuda, the tiny twin-island Caribbean nation which has been in an online gambling trade dispute with the United States for the decade, is to enter into talks since the two edges look for 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 began when Antigua and Barbuda objected to the block imposed by the government on its own residents from using the islands’ online gambling solutions. An international treaty, drawn up by the WTO in 1995, which is designed to remove barriers to trade in 2003, Antigua and Barbuda complained to the World Trade Organization (WTO) that America’s stance contravened the General Agreement on Trades and Services ( GATS.
The result, which likely embarrassed the US and surprised probably even Antigua and Barbuda, was that the WTO sided with all the islands, ruling, in March 2004, and then again in 2007, that by refusing full market access to online gambling operators on the islands, the United States, a paid-up member regarding the 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 united states, in the kind of authorization to ignore US patent and copyright laws, arguing that this was the value of trade lost as a total result of this restriction of online gambling services between the two countries. This would potentially have allowed the islands to ignore the property that is intellectual people firms, such as for instance those in the movie and music industry, to be able to resell their assets.
The united states, which argued, and continues to take action, that it never intended its commitment to GATS to include on the web gambling, offered various undisclosed concessions to 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.
Today the situation remains unresolved,but still burns brightly in the minds the island’s citizens. Simply month that is last Browne brought the matter up at the un 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 team to interact regarding the dispute.
‘we have always been encouraged that my administration has been in a position to secure an ending up in the United States 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 issues.’
History of on line in Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda was an adopter that is early of gambling, creating a framework for legislation as far back as 1994, when the industry had been in its infancy. Low taxes and investment in tech infrastructure soon began operators that are drawing. By the year 2000, the islands had 93 online gambling licensees who had been turning in $ 7 billion in revenue among them. This had been also around the time that the US 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 on the islands.
By 2002, the range operators had dropped to 38 and, by the next year, when Antigua and Barbuda filed its complaint to your WTO, over 80 per cent had left the area.
Trump Taj Mahal Protests Create Atlantic City Gridlock
24 individuals were arrested as Taj Mahal union workers protested reduced advantages near Carl Icahn’s Tropicana in Atlantic City. (Image: Ron Tarver/philly.com)
Trump Taj Mahal employees 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 looking for permission from a bankruptcy court to break agreements with workers in order to keep the Taj Mahal available and steer clear of Chapter 11.
Twenty-four individuals were arrested as hundreds of members of this 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 have been arrested attempted to resist. While Unite Here said that 750 people attended the demonstration, authorities estimated the true numbers at around 300.
Trump Entertainment has stated it will likely be forced to close the Taj on November 13th unless the work concessions are provided. It can also be demanding $25 million in aid from local government, plus a significantly paid off tax evaluation. Trump Entertainment has also requested authorization to be taken over by billionaire investor Carl Icahn, the holder that is major of financial obligation, by transforming that financial obligation into ownership. As owner, Icahn would then invest $100 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 the Tropicana, which is owned by Icahn, rather than the Taj, and it’s clear that lots of employees blame him for the threat to their benefits; many held placards featuring pictures of Icahn, emblazoned because of the slogan, ‘Billionaire picking over our bones.’
This week’s protest took destination regarding the 10th anniversary of the comparable work dispute that saw members of Unite right Here 54 go out of seven Atlantic City gambling enterprises, effectively closing them straight down for per month.
‘When they were rolling in cash, they wanted to go on it all away from us ten years ago,’ said union president Bob McDevitt.
Employees are now 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 local presbyterian minister and one particular arrested. ‘with them. if we enable the Taj to remove benefits, all of the casinos will do away’
Trump Name Removed
Earlier in the week, the Trump name 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 5 years ago. Although the Taj Mahal, along with the recently shuttered Trump Plaza, ended up being as soon as 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 10 % stake, in return for continued utilization of the Trump manufacturer. Since that time he has had nothing in connection with the management of the Trump properties, and contains 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 has been a struggle that is ongoing we have been litigating it for many 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/article.wn.com)
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 is the message from John Pappas, president of the grassroots organization that fights for the interests of Web poker players through the US.
Well, that’s exactly what it seemed like Pappas was saying, however a subsequent statement that is follow-up an interview made his views, shall we say, murky to state the minimum.
Pappas ended up being responding to a range 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 G2E that is recent gambling in Las Vegas repeated the rumors, including Bally Technologies CEO John Connelly, who said he expected an initiative to make ‘everything apart from poker illegal’ this November.
‘There’s truly opportunity for some shenanigans to happen [during the duck that is lame] and everyone in 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 taken place, 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 stated 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 clearly was a bill that banned online casino games but legalized on-line poker at the federal level, we would support that all day long,’ he told NJ.com. Wait, did not he say earlier that without casino games, online isn’t sustainable? We’re confused.
Pappas says he’s concerned that the ‘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 would be as much as individual states to decide if they wanted to legalize and manage, with the exception that online casino gambling would no longer be an option for them. On a state degree, he claims, internet poker needs the revenue that is extra by online casinos to gain a foothold.
‘We’re going to fight enamel and nail to safeguard the passions of poker players, but poker-only in the US might not be considered a sustainable model to benefit heart of vegas free casino slots players, long-lasting,’ he explained. ‘We as a poker community need to observe that the success of poker often is made on other forms of gaming,’ he included. ‘ If you stop 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 has to stay strong, under its very own terms, against Adelson therefore the proponents of Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) to the end that is bitter. Only if RAWA is passed by Congress, the worst case scenario for the PPA, will it become necessary to engage in a spot of realpolitik and work to negotiate a carve-out for poker.
However, perhaps a far more real danger to the PPA than the lame duck session could be 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 truly favor Adelson’s cause.