Antigua Wins WTO Battle Against US to Maintain Online Gambling Sites

April 7, 2005
April 7, 2005 - (HOSTSEARCH.COM) - Web hosting entered the arena of international law again today with Antigua winning a battle in the World Trade Organization against the U.S. for the right to continue to operate online gambling sites.

"Today's victory for Antigua in its case against the United States in the World Trade Organization (WTO) seeking to strike down U.S. prohibitions on Internet Gaming provides the chance for the U.S. and gaming companies to develop strategies to meet U.S. concerns about the risk of money laundering and fraud in this multi-billion dollar online sector," Kobus Paulsen, CEO of the UC Group, said today.

"The WTO has now found U.S. prohibitions on Internet gambling improper and discriminatory under global trade rules," Paulsen said. "This WTO ruling means the U.S. will need to regulate, rather than prohibit Internet gaming.

It's clear that this will require Internet gaming companies seeking to do business with U.S. consumers to have adequate protections for consumers in place, to deal with such problems as the risk of underage gaming, fraud, and money laundering. The good news is that there are now solutions in the payment system to do just that."

During the proceedings in the WTO the United States argued that regulation was not a viable alternative for prohibition due to five major risks: underage gambling, compulsive gambling, money laundering, possible abuse by organized crime, and the risk of fraud.

"The gaming industry is already addressing these risks by using our tailored Internet payment technology," Paulsen stated. "The UC Group offers an Internet credit card payment system for e-commerce sectors with potentially higher risks, such as Internet gaming. This system is designed to virtually eliminate risks such as underage gambling, money laundering, abuse by organised crime and fraud against consumers. Furthermore, UC Group's payment system provides opportunities to address compulsive gambling that are as good or better than those available for bricks and mortar gambling."

According to Paulsen, the U.S. Congress is now in a position to consider alternative approaches to Internet gaming other than its existing efforts at prohibition. Congress currently requires lawful Internet gaming to have sufficient protections in place appropriate to deal with these risks, just as
U.S. law already requires financial institutions to take effective action against other activities deemed of potentially higher-risk of fraud and money laundering.

"Currently, industry surveys strongly suggest there are large numbers of Americans who are engaging in Internet gaming despite the current U.S. legal limitations," Paulsen said. "A legislative approach that deals with the risks rather than prohibiting the activity will go a long way to meeting the public policy concerns."

The UC Group, based in the UK, currently provides payment services for a number of Internet business sectors, including online flowers and Internet gaming. Its anti-money laundering, anti-fraud, and other protections make it a unique mechanism to protect both businesses selling services online and consumers purchasing services from such businesses.

For further information about UC Group's payment system for e-commerce business possibly attracting higher risks and the opportunities it offers to effectively address regulatory concerns raised by Internet gaming, see and

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