US Gambling Agreement With WTO Being Challenged In Utah
Many Americans believe that the US government has been less than truthful on many occasions when dealing with residents of their country. These people now have allies in Utah where lawmakers are concerned about negotiations that took place between the US and the WTO.
Lawmakers in Utah are openly supporting House Joint Resolution 1. These lawmakers are worried that with gambling growing rapidly around the world, that a deal with the WTO could lead to states not having a say in whether gambling is legal within their jurisdiction.
House Joint Resolution 1 ensures that gambling laws be left for individual states to make their own decisions. The other part of the Resolution is where the lawmakers are not trusting of George Bush and his administration.
The second part of the Resolution has to deal with the idea that details of an agreement that was made with the WTO are being withheld. The agreement stems from the US violating WTO regulations involving trade.
Antigua and Barbuda successfully brought a case against the US with the WTO because they claimed the US destroyed their online gambling business. Companies that were licensed in Antigua and Barbuda were stopped from doing business in the US, and because of that, Antigua and Barbuda were hurt financially.
Out of that case came negotiations with the WTO where the US has had to make some concessions for what they have done. The details of those negotiations have been withheld for "national security" reasons.
"This is potentially a very big deal. We were stunned that they classified it as national security and got away with it," said Peter Riggs, the Director of the Forum on Democracy and Trade.
The concerns of the Utah lawmakers come as talks will begin in 2009 with the WTO. The lawmakers believe individual states should have their say before those talks take place. They are concerned that those talks will lead to legalized online gambling throughout the world, a distinct possibility, according to one observer.
"When the WTO talks resume, there is no doubt that Internet gambling will be one of the main issues. With most countries steadily moving towards legalizing online gambling, an agreement could be reached on the issue involving all the countries of the WTO," said Jack Trimplet.
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