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WLA Supports US in WTO I-gaming Dispute

9 December 2003

The World Lottery Association (WLA), an international organization that takes in over $103 billion in revenue and represents 142 government-controlled lotteries from 74 countries, has pledged its support to the United States' position in its dispute against the islands of Antigua and Barbuda before the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The U.S. and the islands are currently engaged in a dispute over the United States' tough cross-border gambling laws that restrict the supply of gambling services from off-shore betting operators by making it difficult for U.S. consumers to transfer funds for online gambling.

The WLA agrees with the U.S. policy, and in August submitted an argument to the U.S. Trade Representative in favor of a universal legal model that permits government-controlled lotteries to operate games only within their own frontier as a means of upholding public order and morality while minimizing the risk of money laundering.

WLA President Reidar Nordby, Jr. said, "Most governments recognize the need for strict regulation of the gaming market to protect consumers, avoid social problems, and mitigate the risk of financial activities. Cross-border gaming violates the principle of territorial integrity, which is the key to governments' ability to regulate gaming effectively."

The WLA also points out that governments allocate much of the proceeds from regulated gaming into beneficial public programs, but gaming with non-government controlled operators, such as those located off-shore, puts the money into the hands of private investors.

An official statement says that the WLA has allocated a substantial budget for activities connected to this case, although Lynn Roiter, Secretary General of the WLA Montreal Office, says that financial support of the U.S. has not been necessary. She stresses that this is not a matter of supporting the U.S monetarily, but of supporting the ideas and concepts that it represents.

Antigua and Barbuda, which relies on I-gaming as a crucial driver of its economy, has raised its argument before the WTO because it believes U.S. anti-online gaming policies are in violation of its commitments under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).

A WTO dispute panel is currently mitigating the case between the U.S. and the islands. The panel is expected to publish its final ruling in early 2004.

The WLA says its missions include promoting public understanding of the role of lotteries in society, lobbying for its members to support regional lottery associations, partnering with international sports federations, and establishing worldwide standards in security, risk management, responsible gaming, and corporate social responsibility.

WLA Supports US in WTO I-gaming Dispute is republished from iGamingNews.com.
Bradley Vallerius

Bradley P. Vallerius, JD manages For the Bettor Good, a comprehensive resource for information related to Internet gaming policy in the U.S. federal and state governments. For the Bettor Good provides official government documents, jurisdiction updates, policy analysis, and many other helpful research materials.

Bradley has been researching and writing about the business and law of internet gaming since 2003. His work has covered all aspects of the industry, including technology, finance, advertising, taxation, poker, betting exchanges, and laws and regulations around the world.

Bradley Vallerius Websites:

www.FortheBettorGood.com
Bradley Vallerius
Bradley P. Vallerius, JD manages For the Bettor Good, a comprehensive resource for information related to Internet gaming policy in the U.S. federal and state governments. For the Bettor Good provides official government documents, jurisdiction updates, policy analysis, and many other helpful research materials.

Bradley has been researching and writing about the business and law of internet gaming since 2003. His work has covered all aspects of the industry, including technology, finance, advertising, taxation, poker, betting exchanges, and laws and regulations around the world.

Bradley Vallerius Websites:

www.FortheBettorGood.com