NJ Online bill could ruffle WTO feathers

While the New Jersey gambling bill isn’t law yet, there a number of things to consider in the event that it does become law. Respected journalist and writer Michelle Minton touches on a major issue regarding the effects of the NJ bill on WTO agreements.

In her article in OpenMarket.org, Minton draws attention to the possible disputes the NJ online gambling bill could potentially cause with the WTO. Minton writes, “The amendment added by Lesniak, allowing foreign players to place bets on New Jersey Internet casinos, is likely to cause tension in the international gambling community, which has long viewed the United States’ stance on online gambling as discriminatory and a violation of international agreements. In 2005 and again in 2007, the WTO ruled against the United States after Antigua filed a complaint against the U.S.”

Keeping in mind the UIGEA is designed to prohibit US players from playing with International online gaming sites, and how states like Washington State have already completely banned online gambling, Minton is 100% accurate with her assertion, “Legalized Internet gambling in New Jersey and taking customers from foreign lands is likely to reignite claims that the U.S. is unfairly hindering international trade — something that New Jersey lawmakers are well aware of and hoping for. The hope is that renewed WTO disputes as well as the revenue brought in by online gambling in the state will prompt the federal government to take seriously the legalization of Internet gambling.”

We believe this is a some ways away from being a reality, but it’s worth noting that this will be far from a smooth transition.