PPA Statement: US Sets Dangerous Precedent by Ignoring WTO

Commitments Relative to Internet Gaming

Today, former New York Senator Alfonse D’Amato, chairman of the Poker Players Alliance, released the statement below.

The former Senator’s comments are in response to the European Union’s support of Antigua’s ruling against the United States and claim for compensation based on the U.S.’s violation of its World Trade Organization commitments.

Last year Congress and this President moved in the wrong direction by approving the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act, which among others things, violates the United State’s WTO commitment on „gambling and betting service“.

The Poker Players Alliance believes there is a simple solution through the regulation of on-line gaming. Rather than allowing this trade dispute to continue to be played out on the world stage, the U.S. Congress should pass the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act of 2007 introduced by U.S. Representative Barney Frank (D-MA).

The Frank bill provides enforcement of strict regulations and licensing of Internet gaming and brings the United States more into compliance with its WTO commitments under the General Agreement on Trade and Service. Regulation of this industry is the only sensible public policy and trade policy solution. Moreover, it will generate significant revenue for the U.S. by simply allowing individuals a freedom they rightly deserve. If our government continues to ignore its trade commitments we will threaten other U.S. industries, not related to Internet gaming, that rely on consistent trade policy and we may be in jeopardy of forfeiting a lead role among the WTO member community.