Mark Gritter (markgritter) wrote,
Mark Gritter
markgritter

Poker Trade War 2007

When the U.S. cracked down on online gambling, publicly-traded U.K. companies lost billions of dollars of U.S. revenue. E.U. trade authorities demanded billions of dollars in compensation and they have a WTO ruling on their side. Negotiations are underway to have the U.S. compensate by opening some services to international competition--- such as insurance, shipping, law, or telecommunications.

Source: http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB118783338870406171.html (subscribers only)
Gambling911 story: http://www.gambling911.com/EU-Service-Firms-US-Internet-Gambling-082407.html (copy of WSJ article)
2+2 thread: http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=11789891

The bad news: Allowing gambling back in appears to be off the table.
The good news: I think the U.S. will benefit by opening up some of these markets to foreign competition. Trade's not a zero-sum game.
The interesting bit: Many service sectors are regulated by the states (like the legal profession) and there could be a fair amount of wrangling. Incumbent players will lobby quite hard to keep their protected status. Congress might finally have to face reality when the WTO's bill comes home and decide that gambling really isn't all that important.

(Antigua's a whole different set of negotiations. International Herald Tribune article from yesterday: http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/08/22/business/gamble.php)
Tags: poker, politics, wto
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