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Measures Affecting the Cross-Border Supply of Gambling and Betting Services (DS 285)


The controversial gambling decision of the Appellate Body is mostly important because of examination of the nature of Access under Article XVI GATS, the relationship of that Article to Articles XIV and XVII GATS, and the parallels with Articles III, XI, and XX GATT. Notably, the Appellate Body took the position that an apparant internal regulatory measure, which, nonetheless, had equivalent effect to a zero quota, violated Article XVI GATS. A similar measure in the area of goods would have been examined under Article III GATT and require a showing of discrimination. The facts of the case would have allowed the decision to be based on Article XVII GATS. Most of this paper deals with this issue. We agree with this interpretation of Article XVI by the Appellate Body but are critical of its hermeneutics, suffering from a textual fetish and a policy phobia. Some other elements in the decision are also examined critically.

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World Trade Review
  • ISSN: 1474-7456
  • EISSN: 1475-3138
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