After much criticism of AntiguaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s plan to hit the United States trademarks with $3.4 billion in penalties each year, finance Minister L. Errol Cort is standing his ground. He will continue to take action until the United States applies the online gambling ban more uniformly or until U.S. citizens are allowed to place bets on online gambling sites once again.
This Caribbean nation of Antigua has always based a lot of its financial flow from tourism. But since being struck with one hurricane after another since the late 1990Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s, Antigua has embraced electronic commerce such as online gambling in order to not have to depend on tourism so much.
But when the U.S. Congress banned American banks and credit card companies from making transactions between U.S. citizens and online gambling sites, many gaming sites took a huge hit. Claiming the United States is ignoring the World Trade OrganizationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ruling against the ban, there are now several countries filing for separate compensation claims as a result. Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, India, Japan, Macau, and the 27-nation European Union have added themselves to the list, along with Antigua, to get what they feel the United States has taken from them by banning online gambling.
Minister Errol Cort is not backing down and we can expect to hear more from him and many others as this drama continues to play out. While the U.S. is also standing their ground, time and billions of dollars in penalties may make the U.S. cave eventually.
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