Antigua Waits On US Response To Online Gambling Judgement

Published Monday, January 16, 2017 -
Antigua Waits On US Response To Online Gambling Judgement

Online gambling has had some setbacks over the years and one of the most disturbing is the introduction of the 2006 law that banned offshore internet betting in the USA. It has caused an enormous amount of stress and political strife in the small beautiful island nation of Antigua Barbuda who’s online gambling business suffered the consequences of the US action.

Twelve years later the World Trade Organization judgement against America awarding Antigua a substantial amount of money in payment for the disruption of its virtual casino industry has still not been collected from the USA.

Now Prime Minister Gaston Browne and Sir Rodney Williams, Antigua’s Governor-General confirmed its plans to collect the judgment in the form of abrogated intellectual-property rights, as ordered by the WTO.  The judgment by the WTO which has grown to around a quarter billion US dollars with interest, was granted when Antigua prevailed in its claims that the US had violated the late-’90s GATS treaty with Antigua and other nations when it stopped firms from offering online gambling to US citizens.

A portion of the recent Throne speech in which Williams addressed the US-WTO conflict is reprinted here:

‘It was my Government’s view that a settlement would have been achieved before the Obama Administration demitted office on January 20, 2017. That date will soon pass. Consequently, it is the intention of my Government to apply the remedies permitted by the WTO. It is my Government’s intention to proceed to Parliament to adopt legislation consistent with the WTO ruling, allowing Antigua and Barbuda to nullify US copyright protections and to benefit from so doing. The USA is a very powerful and wealthy state, capable of inflicting harm. My Government believes that the new administration that is about to take office will recognize the lawfulness and justness of our actions and will quickly settle the differences that have kept our negotiators apart. The USA would not turn to intimidation and revenge.’ It looks unlikely that Antigua will ever see a settlement.



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