IWTS supports free trade. The Bush administration usually supports free trade. However, when it comes to Internet Gambling, George Bush is out to protect you from yourself (and state lotteries from competition).
United States is a member of the World Trade Organization. The US is being sued by Barbados, because the US laws discriminate against foreign companies. The WTO has held that the Illegal Gambling Business Act and Wire Act both violate the free trade agreement. The Bush administration has chosen to ignore this ruling and continue prosecuting online casino operators.
Supporters of this misguided Internet gaming ban want you to believe they are looking out for you. Jim Leach (R-Iowa) said the problem is particularly acute for young people who are frequently on the Internet. “Never before has it been so easy to lose so much money so quickly at such a young age,” he said. In other words this is another piece of legislation “For the Children.”
The real motivation for these laws is protecting domestic casino and state lottery profits as well as political pandering to the value voters.
The US ban on Internet gambling protects no one and criminalizes consensual activity. It is another form of Prohibition. The US is risking the legitimacy of all free trade agreements by ignoring the WTO ruling. That is too high a price for protectionist moralistic pandering.