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In a ruling that could open the United States to offshore Internet gambling, a World Trade Organization panel Wednesday said Washington should drop prohibitions on Americans placing bets in online casinos.

In its final report, the WTO panel confirmed the preliminary ruling it issued in March in a dispute pitting the United States against the tiny Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda, saying the ban represented an unfair trade barrier.

Richard Mills, a spokesman for U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick, called the report "deeply flawed" and said Washington would "vigorously" contest the ruling before the WTO's seven-member appeals body.

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