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Cablegate: Wto/Gambling: Poland Likely to Stay Out of the Game

VZCZCXRO9955
PP RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHWR #2362 3461506
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 121506Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY WARSAW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5627
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES
RUEHKW/AMCONSUL KRAKOW 1930
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0860
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS WARSAW 002362

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EEB/TPP/MTA CAROL HENNINGER
STATE PASS TO USTR FOR THOMAS FINE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD WTRO PL
SUBJECT: WTO/GAMBLING: POLAND LIKELY TO STAY OUT OF THE GAME

REF: STATE 165472

1. (SBU) EconOff delivered reftel demarche regarding the WTO
dispute settlement proceeding on gambling and betting
services to Mieczyslaw Nogaj, Director of the Trade Policy
Department at the Polish Ministry of Economy, and to Joanna
Katner-Pruszynska, Counselor to the Minister of Economy. She
is the Ministry's expert on the General Agreement on Trade in
Services (GATS). Katner-Pruszynska stated that internet
gambling has been illegal in Poland since 1992. Poland has
not taken any active part in the WTO case, because Poland has
no affected companies. She also acknowledged the U.S.
compensatory offer on research and development, stating, "I
know you can't offer anything more in that sector." However,
she stated there is a view in the European Commission that
the U.S. offer should be rejected because the United States
had failed to respond to requests regarding the finance,
insurance and telecommunications sectors. EconOff reiterated
that the U.S. offer on research and development services
alone is significantly larger than the entire U.S. gambling
industry.

2. (SBU) Katner-Pruszynska stated that the EU position is
being driven by the United Kingdom, Ireland and Malta. Nogaj
stated that other EU countries had supported Poland in its
dispute with Russia regarding exports of fresh meat, even
though those countries were not directly affected. Now it is
Poland's turn to support those countries, even though Poland
would not be directly affected by revision of the U.S. GATS
schedule. EconOff noted that the United States had also
supported Poland on the meat ban. In any case, Nogaj made
clear, Poland sees this at minimum as a good opportunity to
keep quiet, and potentially as a cost-free chance to repay
past support from other EU members on matters touching
Poland's interests more directly.
HILLAS

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