Feeds

Antigua attorney speaks out on landmark WTO case

DOJ, USTR keep heads in sand

SANS - Survey on application security programs

The DOJ seems to view this case - which centers primarily on cross border remote wagering on horse racing - as a kind of trojan horse for the broader internet gambling industry. How true is that? Why not just concede on that narrowly defined issue and move on?

Because it is not "that narrowly defined issue". As I mentioned earlier, the United States tried to spin its loss in this case as being only about horse racing, but that was simply not the case. Now they are having to face the reality of the case for the first time, and it is making things much more difficult for them. It is indeed about "the broader internet gambling industry" and by refusing to engage with Antigua over the issue in a timely manner, they may have opened the Pandora's box that can never again be shut.

In particular, they have now gotten the European Union seeking massive economic concessions, and if they thought that we were a problem, the EU is going to be a much more difficult monster for the United States to wrestle. While Antigua is going to have to work hard and be creative to find ways to effectively retaliate against the United States, the EU won't have any trouble at all. The United States is literally facing multi-billions of trade retaliation from the EU in all sorts of trade completely unrelated to gambling.

All of a sudden, for example, American exporters of auto parts, electric guitars or cotton sweaters to the EU are going to be shut or priced out of the market. All of those sectors stand to be sacrificed or at least severely compromised by the United States in this case, all so the United States can protect its domestic gambling industry. Or, perhaps even worse, to satisfy some dated little constituency in the DOJ. Simply boggles the mind.

You have intimate knowledge of this case - just where do you think it really goes from here?

To paraphrase The Dude, Antigua abides! We are going to press on here. Everything we are facing currently is unchartered territory, and the good thing about that is that you are free to make whatever claims you feel you can justify and take whatever trail you think you can convince the WTO to follow. Our thinking in this case has never been square-headed and it is not about to get to be at this point. What we really hope for here is that the United States will gain some reason and look to compromise, finally.

Antigua didn't bring this case so it can sell cheap Microsoft products or DVDs. This case was brought on behalf of a regulated, fair domestic gambling and betting industry. Antigua wants to be able to provide these services to American consumers, who very clearly want them. While there is still large ground for compromise, at the end of the day Antigua wants and deserves to be able to offer these services on some agreed and rational basis. Let's hope that wisdom prevails here, and this whole dispute becomes just a footnote to WTO history rather than a defining moment. ®

Burke Hansen, attorney at large, heads a San Francisco law office

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.