As stated in a previous Pokernews.com article, the United States is fighting a losing battle in the court of world business. The U.S. has been fighting one of the online poker's international hotbeds, Antigua, for the rights to target U.S. poker players and their money.
Although it was denied in a recent extension attempt, the U.S. was given until April 2006 to abide by the World Trade Organization's (WTO) decision supporting Antigua's egaming sites and is threatening sanctions against the U.S. if it doesn't comply.
The U.S. has three options for compliance: either ban all remote gambling, re-design the Horse Race Act, or legitimize gambling services from Antigua, a move that contradicts current U.S. policy. Although the U.S. must comply with certain changes, it is not ready to open its doors to legalized gambling.
According to Neena Moorjani, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Trade Representative, believes that the U.S. is not going to change its policy without serious effort. "In order to implement findings, all we need to do is clarify one narrow issue concerning Internet gambling on horse racing. This does not involve weakening U.S. restrictions on Internet gambling," she said in a recent article.
Antiguan lawyers are prepared to take the battle to the next level, believing that the U.S. will do little to comply with the WTO's decision. According to Mark Mendel, Antigua's lead attorney in the case, is unsure of what the U.S. plans to do.
"Based upon their track record in this matter, we do not expect whatever they do to be particularly responsive to the principles of the WTO decision nor accommodating Antigua's interests," Mendel was quoted as saying.
With millions of dollars at stake, Antigua is taking steps to find a way to make the US comply. "We are preparing a number of strategies to encourage the United States to face the issue sooner than later," Mendel said.
According to Mendel, time is of the essence and Antigua is deciding how to play its cards. "We will give them a couple of months to make their intentions clear before we decide whether to let things lie until April 3 or to go on the offensive in the near future," he said.
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