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Antigua's bid to get big sanctions against the U.S. for its online gambling ban has for all intents and purposes failed

Last year saw the U.S. ban online gambling in its many sordid and popular forms.  Casinos and private firms felt the pinch as the feds started 2007 off with a campaign of arrests that threatened to completely destroy the online gambling industry as it exists in the U.S.  Most recently, the US government scored a jackpot settlement of millions of dollars from Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft, who admitted to aiding and abetting online gambling in the past.

Now the U.S.'s gambling-critical government has another victory, as it escaped any serious international sanctions from the World Trade Organization (WTO).  The WTO, which polices trade worldwide, investigated Antigua's accusations that the U.S. was holding domestic online gambling providers to a different and unfair standard from foreign gambling providers since casinos are legally owned and operated in parts of North America. 

The small island nation of Antigua invested heavily in online gambling and was rocked by the U.S.-lead WTO decision last year to curb and eventually ban it.  Antigua sought $3.4B USD in WTO sanctions against the U.S.

In the end, the U.S. got off with nothing more than a slap on the wrist.  The WTO announced a ruling of a paltry $21 million USD in sanctions against the United States.  The U.S.'s Trade Representative stated publicly that Antigua deserved more than $500,000, but also stated, "We're pleased that the figure arrived at is over 100 times lower" than Antigua had sought.

Banning online gambling outright is illegal under the current WTO-enforced international treaty.  In the coming months  the WTO will hear committees to rework the WTO main agreement to allow such bans. 

Sources close to the case speculate Antigua may try to fight back by allowing copyright-lax server farms; a move similar to the recent Chinese ban on U.S. movie imports.

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RE: Why?
By Ringold on 12/28/2007 3:40:41 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sure people in Aristotle's day thought exponential growth was equally unsustainable for much longer.

And yet, here we are.

Resources, by the way, are not as finite as you'd think. Consider, for example, that only a tiny sliver of the population of developed countries deal with what one would traditionally consider "industry"; making things, building things, pulling in raw material at one end and kicking out widgets on the other. Probably the majority of people here at DT deal with data; electrons, perhaps ink and paper.

When we start running out of electrons, then start screaming that the sky is falling.

RE: Why?
By JustTom on 12/28/2007 10:39:21 AM , Rating: 1
The problem being if we do run out of necessary resources and there is no economical alternative found all those people pushing electrons won't have anything to buy.

However, I don't believe we are in danger of running out of resources.

RE: Why?
By sprockkets on 12/28/2007 12:41:55 PM , Rating: 2
We won't? Unlimited oil? Trees can grow back in a few years? Unlimited space for trash? The fact that there is no unlimited oil means we will run out. Simple as that. Exponential growth in the economy is means using those resources faster and faster every year.

Pushing electrons requires energy, if you are referring to electricity. That can be renewable.

This whole world lives beyond its means.

RE: Why?
By Ringold on 12/28/2007 4:17:43 PM , Rating: 3
We've got hundreds of years worth of fossil fuels. Fact, and nobody debates this fact. Also a fact, these fossil fuels were converted to gasoline equivalents by Nazi Germany when real oil supplies were limited, and Carter in his infinite ignorance started to do it as well.

Beyond that, engineers/inventors are damn close to having bacteria that can, in a reactor, convert biological materials directly in to high-octane automotive gasoline. Direct. Fact. Google it.

And if that's not enough, there's enough material useable by nuclear reactors to last till hell freezes over. Not exactly new technology, either.

As for trees, there's more area under forest today than in the past; tree farms! Small amounts of regulation go a long way.

And as for trash -- I don't know about you or where you live, but the vast majority of American's live in an area where they don't see nor smell dumps. The world is fantastically large, and we can dig really flippin' deep holes. Get real.

Raw materials are also still seemingly in abundance, and the amount that does get recycled is fairly impressive; scrap metal is a big business. There are vast areas of untapped resources of many kinds, we just may have to kill a few deer or frogs to get at them. If we run out of resources as a society because we desire to protect the frogs, well, we get what we ask for.

Perhaps if we're stuck on Earth a few thousand years from now, our uber-grandchildren may have problems. However, if we're stuck on Earth even by 2100, then frankly we deserve a giant rock to fall out of the sky to make way for a superior species. Once we're out of the nest, even slightly more advanced technology than we have now would allow us to bring asteroids and whatnot near Earth for the purpose of extracting resources, and we could strip mine the back side of the Moon without anybody ever seeing it. Assuming ores exist there in abundance..

RE: Why?
By JustTom on 12/28/2007 6:25:07 PM , Rating: 1
No, we won't. Because as a resource becomes more and more scarce the price will rise and alternatives will be found.

RE: Why?
By lompocus on 12/29/2007 2:39:08 AM , Rating: 1
space? I'm sure we won't be in resource crisis for at least another 50 or so years. By then, we'll have space to look towards. I'm sure we can withstand crisis for 20 more years. Just roll in the 'roids.

You can use their metal, dump your trash on them, blow them up, crash them into other asteroids, use them as ships, use them for nuclear waste, etc. We'll have plenty of room on earth for trees and cows till we terraform a planet.

US wins again, suckers!

RE: Why?
By MamiyaOtaru on 12/29/2007 4:56:00 AM , Rating: 2
Do you have any idea how much energy it takes to break orbit? We're hardly going to beat an energy shortage by flying into space.

Look at the price of gas. Picture it continuing to rise. Now reconcile that with your insane idea to make regular flights out to the asteroid belt. Good luck with that.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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