Online Gambling WTO Issue Still Festering

Published Thursday, January 03, 2013 -

The USA has a way of being a nation that revolves around itself most of the time. Every once in awhile the USA runs into a little problem when it comes to complying with agreements it has signed on to with the World Trade Organization. The story of the Antigua, Barbuda and USA dispute has been an ongoing saga since 2007 when the USA decided to shred the online gambling industry with the enacting of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.

The history of the situation is one that has seen America basically ignore all efforts of the tiny nation of Antigua and Barbuda to collect on the judgement awarded to them by the WTO organization. A mere $21 million a year was granted to Antigua, and should America refuse to heed the order to compensate Antigua the WTO gave the country authorization to collect by other means. The States has said they are now upset with the way Antigua has handled their offer of settlement. Antigua has no justification for taking any retaliatory action against them, officials contend. Antigua has attempted to resolve this issue by putting America on notice that it intends to collect over $100 million dollars and has hired high end lawyers to argue the case.

US officials are saying that Antigua’s disregard for copyrights held by US industry, a method granted to them by the WTO will prompt the USA to give the country the ‘cold shoulder’ when it comes to investment in the tiny nation. The USA has said, “If Antigua actually proceeds with a plan for its government to authorize the theft of intellectual property, it would only serve to hurt Antigua’s own interests,” the US statement continued, “Government-authorized piracy would undermine chances for a settlement that would provide real benefits to Antigua. It also would serve as a major impediment to foreign investment in the Antiguan economy, particularly in high-tech industries.”

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