Gaston Brown, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, whom brought up the nation’s trade dispute with the US during the United Nations General Assembly last month. (Image: winnfm.com)
Antigua and Barbuda, the tiny twin-island Caribbean nation that has been in an online gambling trade dispute with the usa for a decade, is always to enter into talks once the two edges look for to maneuver towards a solution. The move follows a meeting 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 citizens that are own 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 most likely even Antigua and Barbuda, was that the WTO sided with the islands, ruling, in March 2004, and then again in 2007, that by refusing market that is full to online gambling operators on the islands, the US, a paid-up member associated with 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, into the type of authorization to ignore US patent and copyright laws, arguing that this had been the value of trade lost being a result regarding the restriction of online gambling services between the two countries. This would potentially have allowed the islands to ignore the property that is intellectual people organizations, such as those in the film and music industry, to be able to resell their assets.
The united states, which argued, and continues to do so, it never intended its dedication to GATS to include on line gambling, offered different undisclosed concessions to the islands as opposed to those demanded, but refused to really 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 month that is last Browne brought the matter up at the us General Assembly, where he called on the united states to stay the matter, a move that prompted the renewed talks. Both parties have now agreed to construct an united group to come together on the dispute.
‘we have always been encouraged that my administration has been able to secure an ending up in the United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Froman, so early,’ said Browne. ‘Ambassador Froman is a Cabinet-level officer of the United States Government and this should facilitate decision-making on policy issues.’
History of Online in Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda was an early adopter of online gambling, creating a framework for regulation as far back as 1994, whenever industry was in its infancy. Low taxes and investment in tech infrastructure soon began drawing operators. By the year 2000, the islands had 93 online gambling licensees who have been turning in $ 7 billion in income between them. This was also around the time that the usa started breaking 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 the following year, when Antigua and Barbuda filed its complaint towards the WTO, over 80 % 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 roads in protest against Trump Entertainment’s plans to cut retirement benefits and benefits. The company that is embattled searching for permission from a bankruptcy court to break contracts with workers so that you can keep the Taj Mahal available and avoid Chapter 11.
Twenty-four people 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 arranged ‘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 people attended the demonstration, authorities estimated the figures at around 300.
Trump Entertainment has said it will likely be forced to close the Taj on 13th unless the employment concessions are granted november. It can be demanding $25 million in aid from state, along with a significantly paid down tax evaluation. Trump Entertainment has additionally requested authorization to be bought out by billionaire investor Carl Icahn, the major holder of its debt, by transforming that financial obligation into ownership. As owner, Icahn would invest $100 then million to keep the Taj alive, but that’s ‘if and only if’ the concessions are granted.
Protestors Blame Icahn
Significantly, the demonstrations occurred near to the Tropicana, which is owned by Icahn, as opposed to the Taj, and it’s clear that lots of employees blame him for the danger to their benefits; many held placards featuring images of Icahn, emblazoned using the motto, ‘Billionaire picking over our bones.’
This week’s protest took place regarding the 10th anniversary of the comparable work dispute that saw users of Unite right Here 54 walk out of seven Atlantic City casinos, effectively closing them down for 30 days.
‘When they were rolling in cash, they wished to go on it all away from us 10 years ago,’ said union president Bob McDevitt.
Employees are now actually concerned one casino cutting benefits could trigger an effect that is domino. ‘Casino gambling, when it came here 38 years back, promised middle-class jobs,’ said the Rev. John Scotland, a regional presbyterian minister and some of those arrested. ‘with them. if we allow the Taj to take away benefits, all the gambling enterprises will do away’
Trump Name Removed
Earlier in the week, the Trump name was removed 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. Although the Taj Mahal, along with the recently shuttered Trump Plaza, was when one of ‘The Donald’s’ pet projects, the casino was left by him business last year, 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 associated with Trump properties, and has now been fiercely critical of its owners.
‘This represents a great victory for us,’ said Ivanka Trump, who confirmed the removal of the name 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 Views Crystal Murky
John Pappas, PPA President, makes some patently unclear statements about their 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 gaming that is online a federal degree, even if it contains a carve-out for on-line poker. This is the message from John Pappas, president of the grassroots organization that fights for the passions of Web poker players throughout the US.
Well, that’s exactly what it seemed like Pappas was saying, but a subsequent follow-up statement in an interview made his views, shall we say, murky to express the least.
Pappas had been reacting to a number of rumors circulating of the move to push via a federal bill to ban remote gaming with a carve-out for poker during Congress’ forthcoming duck session that is lame. 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 make ‘everything other than poker illegal’ this November.
‘There’s undoubtedly opportunity for some shenanigans to happen [during the lame duck session] and everybody else within the video gaming industry should be maintaining a close view about what Congress may do,’ warned Pappas. a duck that is lame refers 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 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 Perhaps Is It?
However, Pappas later clarified his position. Sort of.
‘If there was a bill that banned online casino games but legalized on-line poker at the level that is federal we would support that all day long,’ he told NJ.com. Wait, don’t he say early 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 did not 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 whether or not they wanted to legalize and control, with the exception that online casino gambling would no longer be a choice for them. On a state degree, he states, on-line poker needs the revenue that is extra by online casinos to gain a foothold.
‘We’re going to fight tooth and nail to protect the interests of poker players, but poker-only in the US may not be described as a sustainable model to benefit players, long-term,’ he explained. ‘We as a poker community need to observe that the prosperity of poker often is made on other forms of video gaming,’ he added. ‘ 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 has to stand strong, under its very own terms, against Adelson while the proponents of Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) towards the bitter end. Just if RAWA is passed away by Congress, the case scenario that is worst for the PPA, will it become required real-money-casino.club 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 is the Republicans taking within the Senate next year as predicted, hence toppling on-line poker sympathizer Reid from his position as majority frontrunner. Being a major donor towards the Republicans, this would certainly favor Adelson’s cause.