Gaston Brown, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, whom brought up the united states’s trade dispute with the US at the United Nations General Assembly month that is last. (Image: winnfm.com)
Antigua and Barbuda, the tiny twin-island Caribbean nation which includes been involved in an gambling that is online dispute with the United States for a decade, is to enter into speaks since the two edges look for to maneuver towards an answer. The move follows a conference involving the islands’ Prime Minister Gaston Browne and US Trade Representative Michael Froman.
The David and Goliath battle began when Antigua and Barbuda objected to the block imposed by the US government on its very own residents from using the islands’ online gambling solutions. An international treaty, drawn up by the WTO in 1995, which is designed to remove barriers to trade in 2003, Antigua and Barbuda complained to the World Trade Organization (WTO) that America’s stance contravened the General Agreement on Trades and Services ( GATS.
The result, which likely embarrassed the US and surprised most likely even Antigua and Barbuda, was that the WTO sided with the islands, ruling, in March 2004, and on the other hand in 2007, that by refusing market that is full to online gambling operators on the islands, the United States, a paid-up member associated with WTO, was at breach of its treaty obligations.
$3.4 Billion in Trade Sanctions
Buoyed by its success, Antigua and Barbuda filed a claim for $3.4 billion in trade sanctions against the united states, into the form of authorization to ignore US patent and copyright laws, arguing that this had been the value of trade lost as being a result regarding the restriction of online gambling services between the two countries. This would potentially have allowed the islands to ignore the intellectual home rights people organizations, such as for instance those in the film and music industry, to be able to resell their assets.
The united states, which argued, and continues to do so, so it never intended its dedication to GATS to include online gambling, offered different undisclosed concessions to the islands instead of those demanded, but refused to make the nature of these concessions public, despite phone calls from Congressmen Barney Frank and Ron Paul to do so.
The situation remains unresolved,but still burns brightly in the minds the island’s citizens today. Just month that is last Browne brought the matter up at the un General Assembly, where he called on the usa to stay the matter, a move that prompted the renewed talks. Both parties have now agreed to build group to come together in the dispute.
‘we have always been encouraged that my administration has been in a position to secure a meeting with the United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Froman, so early,’ said Browne. ‘Ambassador Froman is a officer that is cabinet-level of United States Government and this should facilitate decision-making on policy matters.’
History of Online in Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda had been an adopter that is early of gambling, creating a framework for regulation as far back as 1994, if the industry had been in its infancy. Low taxes and investment in technology infrastructure soon began operators that are drawing. By the year 2000, the islands had 93 online gambling licensees who have been turning in $ 7 billion in revenue between them. This ended up being also around the time that the US started cracking straight down on online gambling operators and banks that are barring processing transactions, and as a result the number of licensees begun to plunge, decimating the industry on the islands.
By 2002, the quantity of operators had dropped to 38 and, by the next year, when Antigua and Barbuda filed its complaint towards the WTO, over 80 percent had left the area.
Trump Taj Mahal Protests Create Atlantic City Gridlock
24 individuals were arrested as Taj Mahal union workers protested reduced advantages near Carl Icahn’s Tropicana in Atlantic City. (Image: Ron Tarver/philly.com)
Trump Taj Mahal employees reduced Atlantic City to gridlock this week that is past blocking roads in protest against Trump Entertainment’s plans to cut pensions and benefits. The company that is embattled looking for permission from a bankruptcy court to break agreements with workers in an effort to keep the Taj Mahal available and prevent Chapter 11.
Twenty-four individuals were arrested as hundreds of members for the Unite Here 54 union blocked traffic at the downtown that is busy of Missouri and Arctic Avenues in a show of arranged ‘civil disobedience.’
No one was reported injured during the protests and none of the protestors have been arrested attempted to resist. While Unite Here said that 750 individuals attended the demonstration, police estimated the numbers at around 300.
Trump Entertainment has stated it’ll be forced to close the Taj on 13th unless the employment concessions are granted november. It can also be demanding $25 million in aid from local government, along with a significantly paid down tax assessment. Trump Entertainment in addition has requested authorization become taken over by billionaire investor Carl Icahn, the major holder of its financial obligation, by converting that debt into ownership. As owner, Icahn would invest $100 then million to keep the Taj alive, but that is ‘if and only if’ the concessions are granted.
Protestors Blame Icahn
Significantly, the demonstrations occurred near to the Tropicana, which is owned by Icahn, rather than the Taj, and it’s clear that lots of employees blame him for the threat to their advantages; many held placards featuring images of Icahn, emblazoned because of the motto, ‘Billionaire picking over our bones.’
This week’s protest took place in the 10th anniversary of a comparable work dispute that saw people of Unite Here 54 go out of seven Atlantic City casinos, effectively closing them straight down for 30 days.
‘When they were rolling in cash, they wanted to take it all away from us a decade ago,’ said union president Bob McDevitt.
Workers are now concerned one casino cutting benefits could trigger a domino effect. ‘Casino gambling, when it came here 38 years back, promised middle-class jobs,’ said the Rev. John Scotland, a local presbyterian minister and one particular arrested. ‘with them. if we allow the Taj to eliminate benefits, all the gambling enterprises will do away’
Trump Name Removed
Earlier in the week, the Trump title ended up being removed by employees from the front of the Taj. Donald Trump launched a lawsuit several months ago for breach of the licensing agreement he signed with Trump Entertainment 5 years ago. While the Taj Mahal slots of vegas casino codes 2018, along with the recently shuttered Trump Plaza, ended up being once one of ‘The Donald’s’ pet projects, he left the casino company in ’09, negotiating a deal with Trump Entertainment to retain a 10 percent stake, in return for continued use of the Trump brand. Subsequently he has had nothing in connection with the management regarding the Trump properties, and it has been fiercely critical of its owners.
‘This represents a great success for us,’ said Ivanka Trump, who confirmed the elimination of the name from casino signage. ‘This happens to be an ongoing struggle and we have been litigating it for many months.’
PPA’s John Pappas Makes Federal Ban Views Crystal Murky
John Pappas, PPA President, makes some patently unclear statements about their stand on a federal online ban. (Image: Bloomberg/article.wn.com)
The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) will fight any legislation that seeks to ban gaming that is online a federal level, even if it contains a carve-out for internet poker. That is the message from John Pappas, president of the grassroots company that fights for the interests of online poker players through the US.
Well, that’s just what it seemed like Pappas was saying, but a subsequent statement that is follow-up an interview made his views, shall we say, murky to state the least.
Pappas was reacting to a wide range of rumors circulating of the move to push by way of a federal bill to ban remote gaming with a carve-out for poker during Congress’ forthcoming duck session that is lame. Several panelists at the recent G2E gambling expo in Las Vegas repeated the rumors, including Bally Technologies CEO John Connelly, who said he expected an initiative to help make ‘everything other than poker illegal’ this November.
‘There’s certainly opportunity for some shenanigans to happen [during the lame duck session] and everybody into the video gaming industry should be keeping a close view on which Congress may do,’ warned Pappas. a duck that is lame refers to your period when Congress meets after elections have occurred, but before newly elected representatives’ terms begin.
Some posters on poker forums had been alarmed at Pappas’ statement, seeing it being a departure from the PPA’s stated goals. The PPA offered full support in 2012, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) and Senator Jon Kyl (R-Arizona) were examining the viability of such a bill.
Federal Carve-out Acceptable, Or Perhaps Is It?
However, Pappas later clarified his position. Sort of.
‘If there was a bill that banned on line casino games but legalized online poker at the level that is federal we would support that all day long,’ he told NJ.com. Wait, don’t he say early in the day that without casino games, online isn’t sustainable? We’re confused.
Pappas says he is concerned that the ‘carve-out’ for poker that didn’t legalize the game at a level that is federal merely represent a continuation of the status quo, whereby it would be up to individual states to decide if they wanted to legalize and manage, with the exception that online casino gambling would no longer be an option for them. On a state level, he states, on-line poker needs the additional revenue provided by online casinos to gain a foothold.
‘We’re planning to fight enamel and nail to protect the interests of poker players, but poker-only in the US may not be considered a sustainable model to benefit players, long-term,’ he explained. ‘We as a poker community need to notice that the prosperity of poker often is created on other forms of gaming,’ he added. ‘ If you cut off all other games in the US market, interest and investment would shrink considerably.’
Like we said…huh?
It’s seems likely, too, that the PPA feels it has to stay strong, under its very own terms, against Adelson plus the proponents of Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) to your end that is bitter. Only if RAWA is passed away by Congress, the case scenario that is worst for the PPA, will it be necessary to engage in a spot of realpolitik and work to negotiate a carve-out for poker.
However, possibly a more real danger to the PPA than the lame duck session could be the Republicans taking on the Senate next year as predicted, therefore toppling internet poker sympathizer Reid from his position as majority frontrunner. This would undoubtedly favor Adelson’s cause as a major donor to the republicans.