Happiness is not the natural human state. Striving for more is.
Dr. Craig Wright
5th September 2017  
 
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The Story

A case study by Washington and London-based think tank Democracy Institute revealed that the U.S. waged a “legally incorrect and politically unwise” dispute with Antigua, which resulted to the prosecution of Bodog brand founder Calvin Ayre and other individuals.

 

This reveals how U.S. has bullied Antigua.

The study, which was conducted and written by Dr. Patrick Basham, was titled “How The WTO, Antigua & A Canadian Overcame American Hypocrisy On Free Trade”. It exposed how the U.S. bullied the small state of Antigua and persecuted foreign businessmen under the guise of implementing the “ill-conceived” Illegal Gambling Business Act (IGBA).

 

It’s basically a showdown of David and Goliath.

Basham began with a recap on the dispute of U.S. and Antigua, starting with how American negotiators neglected to honor General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) obligations and used the IGBA to crackdown online gambling businesses then based in Antigua. The actions of the U.S. cost Antigua over $250m, a staggering sum for a country with a Gross Domestic Product of just $1b.

 

And then the U.S. locked its target to Calvin Ayre.

In 2012 felony charges were filed against Ayre, three other individuals and the Bodog online gambling business for supposedly violating the IGBA, despite Basham noting in his report that “the WTO Appellate Body specifically held that The Illegal Gambling Business Act cannot be squared with America’s GATS obligations.”

 

The U.S. even tried to milk money from Ayre.

Among the many interesting revelations contained in Basham’s report is the fact that, years before the indictments were issued, American prosecutors “covertly reached out to Ayre through respective third parties … including Ayre’s known business associates and industry contacts, to ‘encourage’ Ayre to make a US$350 million payment to the US Treasury.” Also, as a consequence of his indictment, Ayre became the subject of a kidnapping and extortion plan.

 

But Ayre stood up against the U.S. and won.

In his report, Basham observed that “whether by accident or by the design of astute legal counsel, Ayre’s surprising stamina tested the Americans’ resolve to the breaking point.” The charges against Ayre were dropped last July and the Bodog domain name was transferred to him. 

 

Takeaway

The report goes to show that the U.S. is willing to go at great lengths in order to circumvent the laws that protect weaker states.  Going forward, America should control itself in throwing its weight around and break international law and brew mistaken, ill-advised prosecutions.

 
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Kudos to Charles St Aubyn for being appointed as Group Director of Talent Acquisition of the NYX Gaming Group! Before joining the NYX group, St Aubyn came from US software solutions business JDA Software, where he most recently held the position of Director of Talent Management for EMEA.

 
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