BETonSports Defense Arguments Dismissed in Federal Case
Several defense arguments brought forth within motions to dismiss by numerous BETonSports defendants in the federal US case against the online firm's principals were dismissed on Friday in St. Louis by Mary Ann Medler, the US magistrate judge in the case. Among other defenses, former BoS owner Gary Kaplan and several other defendants sought to have the charges dismissed on the grounds that the US cases were in violation of the US's own international treaty obligations, specifically the GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services) provisions of the Uruguay Round of the World Trade Organization pacts between the US and other countries.
Judge Medler dismissed the motions brought by Kaplan and other BoS defendants, noting both that individuals have no standing under the WTO agreements, as it involves nationalities only, and that the GATS treaty as passed into law by the US, as the "Uruguay Rounds Agreement Act" (or URAA), was done so with a provision that the Uruguay Round of agreements would not supersede US law in cases where the two might be in conflict. Specifically, the URAA noted that "[n]o provision of any of the Uruguay Round Agreements, nor the application of any such provision to any person or circumstance that is inconsistent with any law of the United States shall have effect."
Further language in statements attached to the URAA specifically precluded individual parties from seeking redress in such a matter.
Also dismissed at this time were arguments suggesting that recent US actions in the case violated a long-standing legal doctrine referred to as "Charming Betsy,", which states as Medler put it, that "[w]here fairly possible, a United States statute is to be construed so as not to conflict with international law or with an international agreement of the United States." However, Medler chose a narrow interpretation of the doctrine, which itself dates to the 18th century and a dispute with Denmark over unlawful seizures. In dismissing the claims by Kaplan and others, Medler asserted that the "Charming Betsy" canon only applies where "where Congress' intent is ambiguous," whereas recent actions by the US Trade Repesentative's office to exclude online gambling services from the GATS were clearly not ambiguous in their intent.
Kaplan and other co-defendants included in the motions to dismiss have 11 days to appeal Medler's decision.