Will Absolute Poker Use WTO to Fight U.S.?

25 April 2011

If the aftermath of the FBI indictments of the 4 major U.S. facing online poker sites there have been progress made in how the sites will return monies owed to the U.S. poker players who have withdrawals due to them. Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars have already made agreements with the U.S. Government to have their domains returned to process withdrawal claims.

Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet however are looking into taking a harder stance against the U.S. and may not be willing to leave the American market so willingly. The finance minister of Antigua, Harold Lovell, is suggesting the online poker company pursue intervention from the World Trade Organization.

“I am concerned that at this point in time United States authorities continue to prosecute non-domestic suppliers of remote gaming services in clear contravention of international law,” Lovell said.

If you recall in 2005 the same action was taken by the small island as they argued that the U.S. was targeting Antiguan companies that offered online gaming to protect the interests of US land-based casinos and won a $21 million settlement of intellectual property rights that were held by US businesses.

A spokesman however has stated that Absolute Poker is reviewing the agreement by the U.S. government that has already been agree to by PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker but is facing some disapproval for doing so from the Antiguan Government.

Absolute Poker has stated they also have a commitment to their U.S. online poker players to get any monies owed to them as quickly as possible. We will have to wait and see if this will include an action with the WTO or just folding to the United States without a fight.

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