Antigua's legal counsel during its online gambling dispute with the United States at the World Trade Organisation has been sharply critical of American motivations and Department of Justice involvement this week. Mark Mendel from Texas-based solicitors Mendel-Blumenfeld told iGaming Business that outdated impressions of online gambling by some in the US Department of Justice (DoJ) are behind America’s stance, adding that the position taken by the DoJ has been detrimental to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

“What I have finally concluded is that this case is almost 100 percent about the DoJ,” said Mendel. “One or Casino on netmore DoJ members have been present at almost every meeting we have held with the United States over the past four years, at almost every WTO session – their footprint is big in this case.”

Mendel revealed that one DoJ representative in particular still speaks as if he is in a bad 1950s gangster film with mobsters ruling the world and buying politicians. "This may sound odd but I think that this issue, remote gambling, has been hijacked of sorts by a kind of dated old crowd in the DoJ who are still lost in the days of Bugsy Malone and smoky backrooms when gambling was run by the mob,” the lawyer said.

The Internet gambling case with the WTO had been damaging to the continued success of the organisation but that, with the European Union (EU) becoming involved, the United States will ultimately have no choice but to fold its hand.

"While Antigua is going to have to work hard and be creative to find ways to effectively retaliate against the United States, the EU won't have any trouble at all,' said Mendel. “The United States is literally facing multi-billions of trade retaliation from the EU in all sorts of trade completely unrelated to gambling. All of a sudden, for example, American exporters of auto parts, electric guitars or cotton sweaters to the EU are going to be shut or priced out of the market.

“All of those sectors stand to be sacrificed or at least severely compromised by the United States in this case. All so the United States can protect its domestic gambling industry or perhaps, even worse, to satisfy some dated little constituency in the DoJ. Simply boggles the mind."