The World Trade Organization, the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations, says the U.S. ban on offshore Internet gambling is illegal.
It was a victory for Antigua, the smallest government ever to lodge a WTO complaint. The Caribbean nation of 80,000 people challenged Bush administration efforts to close the estimated $12 billion global business to U.S. residents. The U.S. banned credit card companies from processing payments to betting sites.
To avoid the penalties, the U.S. government would have to either permit Americans to gamble over foreign-based sites or eliminate exceptions for off-track betting on horses, including over the Internet, as permitted under the 1978 Interstate Horseracing Act. U.S. officials are likely to appeal. Thanks to Mark.