Gaston Brown, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, who brought up the united states’s trade dispute with the US during the United Nations General Assembly final month. (Image: winnfm.com)
Antigua and Barbuda, the tiny twin-island Caribbean country that has been involved in an gambling that is online dispute with the usa for the decade, is always to enter into speaks while the two edges look for to maneuver towards a remedy. A meeting is followed by the move between your 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 federal government on its citizens that are own using the islands’ online gambling solutions. In 2003, Antigua and Barbuda reported to the World Trade Organization (WTO) that America’s stance contravened the General Agreement on Trades and Services (GATS), a global treaty, drawn up by the WTO in 1995, which is created to remove barriers to trade.
The result, which likely embarrassed the US and surprised probably also Antigua and Barbuda, was that the WTO sided with all the islands, ruling, in March 2004, and however in 2007, that by refusing full market access to online gambling operators on the islands, the United States, a paid-up member for 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 US, in the type of authorization to ignore US patent and copyright laws, arguing that this had been the value of trade lost being a result associated with the restriction of online gambling services between the two countries. This would potentially have allowed the hawaiian islands to disregard the property that is intellectual folks organizations, such as those in the movie and music industry, to be able to resell their assets.
The US, which argued, and continues to do this, that it never intended its dedication to GATS to include on the web gambling, offered various undisclosed concessions to the islands in place of those demanded, but refused to really make the nature of these concessions 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. Just month that is last Browne brought the matter up at the United Nations General Assembly, where he called on the united states to settle the matter, a move that prompted the renewed talks. Both parties have now agreed to build team to come together regarding the dispute.
‘I am encouraged that my administration has been in a position to secure a meeting with the United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Froman, so early,’ said Browne. ‘Ambassador Froman is really a officer that is cabinet-level of US Government and this should facilitate decision-making on policy matters.’
History of Online in Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda ended up being an adopter that is early of gambling, creating a framework for regulation as far back as 1994, once the industry had been in its infancy. Low taxes and investment in tech infrastructure soon started 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 ended up being also around the time that the US started cracking straight down on online gambling operators and barring banks from processing transactions, and as a result 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, whenever Antigua and Barbuda filed its complaint to your WTO, over 80 % had left the island.
Trump Taj Mahal Protests Create Atlantic City Gridlock
24 everyone was 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 company that is embattled looking for permission from a bankruptcy court to break contracts with employees so that you can keep the Taj Mahal open and avoid Chapter 11.
Twenty-four individuals were arrested as hundreds of members associated with the 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 injured during the protests and none of the protestors who were arrested attempted to resist. While Unite right Here said that 750 individuals attended the demonstration, authorities estimated the figures at around 300.
Trump Entertainment has stated it is forced to close the Taj on November 13th unless the employment concessions are awarded. It can be demanding $25 million in aid from local government, plus a significantly paid off tax assessment. Trump Entertainment in addition has requested authorization become taken over by billionaire investor Carl Icahn, the holder that is major of debt, by transforming that debt into ownership. As owner, Icahn would then spend $100 million to keep the Taj alive, but that is ‘if and only 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 numerous workers blame him for the hazard to their advantages; many held placards featuring pictures of Icahn, emblazoned with the slogan, ‘Billionaire picking over our bones.’
This week’s protest took spot regarding the 10th anniversary of the similar labor dispute that saw people of Unite right Here 54 walk out of seven Atlantic City gambling enterprises, effectively closing them straight down for per month.
‘When they were rolling in money, they wished to away take it all from us ten years ago,’ said union president Bob McDevitt.
Workers are now actually concerned one casino cutting benefits could trigger an effect that is domino. ‘Casino gambling, when it arrived here 38 years back, promised middle-class jobs,’ stated the Rev. John Scotland, A presbyterian that is local minister one of those arrested. ‘with them. if we enable the Taj to remove benefits, all the casinos will do away’
Trump Name Removed
Earlier in the week, the Trump title ended up being removed by workers from the front of the Taj. Donald Trump launched a lawsuit several months ago for breach of the licensing agreement he finalized with Trump Entertainment 5 years ago. Even though the Taj Mahal, along with the recently shuttered Trump Plaza, ended up being once one of ‘The Donald’s’ pet projects, he left the casino business during 2009, negotiating a deal with Trump Entertainment to retain a ten percent stake, in return for continued usage of the Trump brand name. Since then he has had nothing at all to do with the management regarding the Trump properties, and it has been fiercely critical of its owners.
‘This represents a great triumph for us,’ said Ivanka Trump, who confirmed the elimination of the title from casino signage. ‘This happens to be a struggle that is ongoing we’ve been litigating it for a few 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. This is the message from John Pappas, president of the grassroots company that fights for the passions of Web poker players through the US.
Well, that is what it seemed like Pappas had been saying, but a subsequent statement that is follow-up an interview made his views, shall we say, murky to say the least.
Pappas ended up being reacting to a quantity of rumors circulating of a move to push through a federal bill to ban remote gaming with a carve-out for poker during Congress’ forthcoming lame duck session. Several panelists at the current G2E gambling expo in Las Vegas repeated the rumors, including Bally Technologies CEO John Connelly, who said he expected an initiative to produce ‘everything other than poker illegal’ this November.
‘There’s undoubtedly opportunity for some shenanigans to happen [during the lame duck session] and everyone into the video gaming industry should be maintaining a close view on what Congress may do,’ warned Pappas. a lame duck session refers to your period when Congress meets after elections have actually happened, 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 reported 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 dream of vegas casino slots such a bill.
Federal Carve-out Acceptable, Or Is It?
However, Pappas later clarified his position. Sort of.
‘If there is a bill that banned online casino games but legalized online 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 a ‘carve-out’ for poker that didn’t legalize the game at a level that is federal merely represent a continuation of the status quo, whereby it might be up to individual states to decide if they wanted to legalize and control, with the exception that online casino gambling would no longer be an option for them. On a state degree, he claims, online poker needs the revenue that is extra by online casinos to gain a foothold.
‘We’re planning to fight enamel and nail to safeguard the interests of poker players, but poker-only in the US may well not be a model that is sustainable benefit players, long-lasting,’ he explained. ‘We as a poker community need to notice that the prosperity of poker often is built on other forms of video gaming,’ he included. ‘ If you cut off all other games in the US market, interest and investment would shrink considerably.’
Like we said…huh?
It’s seems likely, too, that the PPA feels it needs to stay strong, under its very own terms, against Adelson and also the proponents of Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) to your bitter end. Only if RAWA is passed away by Congress, the worst case scenario for the PPA, will it become required to engage in a spot of realpolitik and work to negotiate a carve-out for poker.
However, perhaps a far more threat that is real the PPA than the lame duck session could be the Republicans using on the Senate next year as predicted, therefore toppling internet poker sympathizer Reid from his position as majority leader. Being a major donor towards the Republicans, this would undoubtedly favor Adelson’s cause.