The Real US Motivation in the WTO Internet Gambling Case

As Casino Gambling Web representatives prepare to head to Washington D.C. to lobby on behalf of American people who want the Internet gambling prohibition to end, other squabbles in the industry are coming to a head.

iMEGA got their court date last week for a hearing in September to see if the UIGEA violates the constitution. The two Neteller founders both pled guilty to their charges of conspiracy to expedite illegal Interernet gambling. And the WTO faces possibly the biggest threat it has ever encountered – and could be destroyed depending on how the United States proceeds.

In The Register’s extensive interview with Mark Mendel, the Antiguan lawyer in the WTO case against the US, it is revealed what is really behind the US issue with Internet gambling.

“What I have finally concluded is that this case is almost 100 per cent about the DoJ. One or more DoJ members have been present at almost every meeting we have held with the United States over the past four years, at almost every WTO session – their footprint is big in this case,” Mendel said.

He went on to claim that one DoJ representative in the case in particular still talks as if he is in a 1950 Bugsy-esque movie and still thinks of the world as ruled by mobsters who buy out politicians.

“This may sound odd,” Mendel said, “but I think that this issue – remote gambling – has been hijacked of sorts by a kind of dated old crowd in the DoJ who are still lost in the days of Bugsy Malone and smoky backrooms, when gambling was run by the mob.”

In Mendel’s opinion the Internet gambling case with the WTO is detrimental to the continued success of the organization and with the EU involved he believes the United States will have no choice but to fold its hand.

“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,” Mendel said, “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.”

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