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WTO Wants USA to Gamble Online 1287

Posted by michael
from the bingo dept.
revtom writes "The WTO has ruled that the U.S. must allow online gambling or face trade barriers. My favorite quote from the article (Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va), 'It cannot be allowed to stand that another nation can impose its values on the U.S. and make it a trade issue.' Pot/Kettle black?"
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WTO Wants USA to Gamble Online

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  • Re:Nothing New Here (Score:5, Informative)

    by aengblom (123492) on Friday March 26, 2004 @02:39PM (#8682738) Homepage
    The U.S. did not withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol... it never agreed to abide by it.
  • Re: Gambling? (Score:2, Informative)

    by seaswahoo (765528) on Friday March 26, 2004 @02:43PM (#8682793)
    It's not gonna happen.

    Gambling is illegal in most states (except for Nevada, I think). If the federal govt were to all of a sudden say, "Okay, online gambling is legal everywhere!", it might set a precedent upon which state gambling laws would be overturned.

    (Note that then the state govts would lose the advantage they have in that the only legit gambling ops are lotteries.)
  • by AtlanticCarbon (760109) on Friday March 26, 2004 @02:43PM (#8682798)
    GATT:
    Article XX: General Exceptions
    Subject to the requirement that such measures are not applied in a manner which would constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination between countries where the same conditions prevail, or a disguised restriction on international trade, nothing in this Agreement shall be construed to prevent the adoption or enforcement by any contracting party of measures:

    (a) necessary to protect public morals;

    The WTO probably decided the US is discriminating since it allows gambling in a lot of similar situations. Anyways, with lotteries, Nevada, and Indian Casinos its probably hard to argue gambling is against America's public morals.

  • Re:Nothing New Here (Score:4, Informative)

    by gcaseye6677 (694805) on Friday March 26, 2004 @02:47PM (#8682849)
    Nobody really agreed to abide by it, once they actually understood the thing. It sounded great at first but then nations realized it would bankrupt their manufacturing economy. And before anyone says it was a Bush thing, the senate voted, before Bush took office, 98-0 in favor of scrapping it. Clinton signed it in his final days to make himself look good, knowing he wouldn't be around for the fallout.
  • Re:Nothing New Here (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:03PM (#8683118)
    Bottom line, we can do it because we have the power and the might. We don't need to play well with others, others need to play well with us.

    Do you have any idea how much you sound like a 3rd century Roman? Or 18th century Englishman, 19th century Frenchman or 20th century German? etc. etc.

    I think what I'm trying to say is that you sound an awful lot like a proud citizen of a blindly arrogant and soon-to-collapse-from-the-inside empire.
  • by ruebarb (114845) <colorache@nOSPam.hotmail.com> on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:07PM (#8683193)
    I'm a big poker player and have played online for the last 3 years. This year, the Poker scene has blown up to unreal proportions, in part because Chris Moneymaker, the 2003 World Series of Poker winner, won his seat to the tourney in an online tourney.

    The Online Poker community (which is usually treated differently then the gambling community) has been very curious as to how this works, esp. since there are probably a higher percentage of poker players who are profitable as opposed to games where the house has the advantage -

    but then, we only care about the WTO when it is profitable for us to...so I doubt anything will come of this -

    RB
  • Re:Nothing New Here (Score:4, Informative)

    by alext (29323) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:08PM (#8683212)
    If by "nobody" you mean countries other than the US, Australia and Russia, then yes, "nobody" is agreeing to abide by it. Meanwhile the EU and Japan continue to have economies and not to feel too threatened by Kyoto.

    The protocol has a trigger clause in it for it to come into force - countries accounting for at least 55% of 1990 carbon dioxide emissions must be signed up. Right now there are 44%, Russia being seen as the critical guy to enlist as it would be sufficient to reach the target.
  • by Brandybuck (704397) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:10PM (#8683242) Homepage Journal
    While this is IMO largely a construction of the church, I know people who believe it and have no religious leanings of any kind.

    Such as the Atheist and Agnostic Pro-Life League [godlessprolifers.org], for example.
  • Re:canada? (Score:5, Informative)

    by syrinx (106469) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:15PM (#8683298) Homepage
    I always heard that the original classification was 1st World = US, Western Europe, and similar countries (yes, including Canada). 2nd World = USSR and its friends. And 3rd World = everyone else that the two major powers didn't care much about.

    Since the USSR isn't around anymore, that's why you never hear "second world".
  • Re:Nothing New Here (Score:5, Informative)

    by TomHandy (578620) <tomhandy@@@gmail...com> on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:17PM (#8683318)
    Hrmm....... somehow I really doubt you've actually READ the full text that the Machiavelli quote comes from (more likely you found the quote and figured it met your purposes).

    But as far as Machiavelli goes, that particular quote is one of the most commonly taken out of context. If you do ever bother to read the rest of the text, you'll find that Machiavelli goes on to say that, on balance, it is still good to try and be loved, and to not go out of your way to do things that make you feared, as it is much easier to rule and get what you want if people at least generally like you. There's a lot more complexity to a lot of what Machiavelli wrote, including that one, than can be gleened from a simple one line quote.

    -Tom

  • Re:Nothing New Here (Score:2, Informative)

    by Ruprecht the Monkeyb (680597) * on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:25PM (#8683432)
    No one is adhering to Kyoto who wasn't already below those levels to begin with. Europe hasn't done jack, Russia hasn't done jack, China hasn't done jack. At least the US said up front that this treaty was a load of crap and didn't pay lip service to it while continuing to ignore it. The point of Kyoto wasn't to reduce greenhouse gasses, although that's how it wasw sold to the treehugger crowd. The point of Kyoto was to cripple industrialized economies so that lesser developed nations could compete more effectively.
  • Re:"Imposing Views"? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lehk228 (705449) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:26PM (#8683451) Journal
    ...looking for the (-1 No fucking clue) button....

    the randomizer chips and other control circuitry in a slot machine must be certified by the gambling commission, if tampered with the casino has a very good chance of being shut down on the spot and fined massive amounts of dollars, as well as possibly being liable to being sued for every dollar ever lost to their slot machines
  • Re:Nothing New Here (Score:5, Informative)

    by de la mettrie (27199) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:35PM (#8683607)
    For those interested in the actual case law, the report of the panel (read: the court's verdict) ought to appear on this page [wto.org] in a few hours. You should probably take a look at this basic primer [wto.org] in WTO law first to make any sense of it, though.

    The case is actually pretty straightforward, I guess - in the course of GATS negotiations, the U.S. has voluntarily opened its entertainment services sector to foreign competition (check the U.S. schedule of commitments, page 71 [wto.org]) and forgot to schedule an exemption for gambling services.

    This is somewhat understandable, I guess - after all, the 1994 Uruguay Round negotiations have not been called "the most complex negotiations in all history" for nothing. But now the U.S. will have to stand by its word.

    A hint to the incensed U.S. Congressman: The WTO Agreements have caused significant changes in public policy all over the world, often in furtherance of U.S. interests (for example, the EU can't prohibit [wto.org], according to a Panel ruling, the import of U.S. meat treated with growth hormones). Don't cry foul when you're forced to open up your economy under the same rules you promoted and signed.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:39PM (#8683661)
    Drugs. Lethargic depressents.
  • by de la mettrie (27199) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:40PM (#8683675)
    The specifics do not remain confidential; this is a factual error in the article. All WTO rulings are open to the public, accessible via this link [wto.org] (case number 285). It will take some time - a few hours or up to two days, as this is the weekend on Europe now - for the ruling to appear, however.
  • by DanTheLewis (742271) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:44PM (#8683733) Homepage Journal

    Here [cnn.com] is an old article on the subject: the more-left and more-right Republicans and Democrats were mostly pushing for human rights, and the centrist Democrats and Republicans were mostly pushing for free trade. Kind of strange, huh? Clinton, in fact, flip-flopped on this one; he was in favor of granting MFN here [mit.edu] and here, [tibet.ca] and finally pushed for and got permanent trade status for China. [peopledaily.com.cn] That last article also mentions that it happened on GW's watch when they finally entered the WTO.

  • by joshmccormack (75838) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:47PM (#8683782) Homepage Journal
    The WTO site is a hard one to navigate. Here's the complaint against the US:

    Complaint [wto.org]

    You can see the other documents relating to this in the row labeled Antigua and Barbuda on this page [wto.org].

    To summarize, this is not a moralistic thing, or about the US making a national religion or any of that. The complaint (best as I can understand) is that the US does allow gambling, but does not allow foreign companies to compete, and that it's laws are inconsistent in forbidding it and some of them conflict with GTO laws.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:49PM (#8683807)
    TaoDeChing - Lao Tze

    17. Rulers
    The best rulers are scarcely known by their subjects;
    The next best are loved and praised;
    The next are feared;
    The next despised:
    They have no faith in their people,
    And their people become unfaithful to them.

    When the best rulers achieve their purpose
    Their subjects claim the achievement as their own.
  • Re:Nothing New Here (Score:3, Informative)

    by toriver (11308) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:50PM (#8683823)
    That's the way of nature. The strongest survive.

    Ah, you're one of those. The guys that failed reading comprehension when studying Darwin.

    You see, it's not the strongest that survive, but the most adaptable. That's why the American car industry almost went under because they thought it was sufficient to be a U.S. brand to sell cars, but the buyers suddenly wanted quality and economy instead, and the Japanese manufacturers provided.

    Recall a little war of independence back in the 18th century? You know, when a certain British colony dared to oppose the "alpha male of the world tribe"? And got away with it simply because the French said "non" when asked to help the British against the "terrorists"?

    If more authority-loving people like you were around back then, the War of Independence would have been called "The damp squib" instead, and your current head of state would have been Queen Elizabeth II. And that probably would have been a good thing.
  • by snkline (542610) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:51PM (#8683832)
    Yeah, if the church wants to pay taxes, they can go right ahead and preach whatever politics they want. However if they want tax exemption from the IRS, they have to follow certain rules. One of those is no partisan politics. Issues they can discuss, but not much else. For example they can say "Abortion is bad" but they cannot say "Abortion is bad, Kerry supports abortion and Bush doesn't" because that is partisan politics. They can even enumerate what a politicians views on certain issues are, as long as nowhere within the same context they enumerate the churches OWN views on these issues.
  • Re:Nothing New Here (Score:2, Informative)

    by bwcbwc (601780) on Friday March 26, 2004 @03:58PM (#8683919)
    Wouldn't it be nice if the US could get away without supporting any dictatorships. But our own national interests have to have some weight in our decision of which governments to support and how we support them.

    Case in point: Pakistan. If Pakistan were to become a democracy today, we would have an Islamist radical nuclear power on our hands. So what is your transition plan to go from the current military dictatorship to a moderate democratic state that doesn't pose much of a threat to us (or India, for that matter)?

  • Re:Nothing New Here (Score:3, Informative)

    by nelsonal (549144) on Friday March 26, 2004 @06:14PM (#8685341) Journal
    To avoid confusion in the US we started calling liberalism libertarianism or classical liberalism. Liberal became associated with the 60s leftists and has been a dirty word to small government types on this side of the pond ever since. Anyone who likes the economist can't be all bad, those captions are the funniest thing I read.
  • Re:Nothing New Here (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 26, 2004 @08:13PM (#8686150)
    Rome did not last 1000 years, reread your history books, OK so there was a mini-empire called the roman empire but it was not run by Romans and did not contain Rome, so any connections are well er romantic at best

    Switzerland has the highest GDP in the world, much higher than the USA

    Not bad going I would think
  • by JoeBuck (7947) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @12:11AM (#8687337) Homepage

    Because of the extreme pro-GATT press bias, there was little public awareness at the time of passage of the consequences. GATT basically establishes an unaccountable world government that hands down edicts, ordering nations to overturn their laws or face billions of dollars a year in sanctions. If they could only do this when a country tried to impose a discriminatory tariff, it would be one thing. But anything that inconveniences the flow of money or goods across borders can be overridden, except for specific exceptions written into the GATT (these mainly allow for continued agricultural tariffs and intellectual property protection).

  • by HanzoSpam (713251) on Saturday March 27, 2004 @12:22AM (#8687367)
    You might have noticed that there aren't any actual libertarian governments. If poor people don't get any support or services from the goverment then they eventually revolt, and this results in either a socialist nation (if they win) or a military dictatorship (if they lose).

    Um, no. Revolutions are rarely started by the poor, usually they're started by the middle classes. See the French Revolution, the American Revolution and the Bolshevik Revolution as examples.
  • my pussy hurts (Score:1, Informative)

    by ircbuddy (732046) * on Saturday March 27, 2004 @02:14AM (#8687712) Journal
    no really, my pussy hurts 3
  • Re:Nothing New Here (Score:2, Informative)

    by True Grit (739797) <edwcogburn@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Saturday March 27, 2004 @04:55AM (#8688150)
    1. Uh, the Maginot Line actually worked. Its purpose was not to protect France from the entire world forever, it was to stop the Germans from attacking from the East, which it did.


    When people refer to France's ML, they are really referring to the false hope of a static defense, which fails utterly if the enemy finds a new route/method/strategy to attack you with/from. While the ML didn't fail technically, it did fail in the larger sense that France believed it was safe from Germany because of the ML, when it obviously wasn't. Worse, the French were so confident in the ML, that they allowed their conventional military to degrade relative to the Germans. Also, although not well known, the Germans did penetrate the ML in a few places to the north. It took time of course, it wasn't like the blitzkrieg through the Low countries, but once they got behind the ML, no matter how, the ML was doomed. The lesson learned from this is that in modern times (post-gunpowder), almost any enemy, given enough time, can defeat any static line defense, i.e., the *best* defense is *always* a good *offense*.

Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code. -- Dave Olson

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