When online gambling was banned by US authorities, the effect created was earth-shattering. Companies stocks cut in half, gambling industry revenues fall drastically and in the end the gambling industry reported revenues shrunk by about 60%.
It is true that the US casino online gambling was not the only business opportunity on the horizon, still remaining in Europe and the Far East, but this move by the largest market at the time was sweeping.
These painful days in illegal online gambling for US players might be coming to an end. The answer for the harsh US gambling law can be found in the Caribbean. Antigua, the small resort destination renowned for hosting online gambling operations and who served the American gambling industry also, has sued US for the gambling ban imposed.
The dispute resolution looks to be a milestone moment in online casino gambling history. The WTO ruled that the US online gambling ban is illegal and that competition should be permitted, welcoming international online operations in the US.
The WTO ruling will be opening the doors to offer online services in the gambling industry not only for Antigua, but also for EU and Australia, all of which on the alert. The ruling is also likely to engage a greater issue of intellectual-property, therefore threatening the deep-rooted and protected industries in Hollywood and the Silicon Valley.
Nao Matsukata, a former senior trade official for the United States, discussed about the future of the gambling business in US in a Newsweek article saying that "Intellectual property is the perfect sanction item" Also, lobbyists from across America gathered on Capitol Hill advancing a deal that would avoid such horrific situations as a loss of intellectual property protection it may yield.
The US is expected to announce an extension to the deadline given in the ruling. However, this deadline will pass and the problem will definitely be resolved sooner or later. With multi-billion industries at stake, a conservative guess is that online gambling for US players, with active participation of its greatest land based casinos as well, this time will occur sometime in 2008.