Antigua and Barbuda P.M. Gaston Browne Ready to End iGaming Dispute with US

An online gaming dispute has been ongoing between the USA and the Antigua/Barbuda region for over a decade. Negotiations have not produced any results and the government of Antigua is tired of waiting for a resolution. Offers have been refused and now according to the Antigua Observer, a counter-offer is being considered. However, if not resolution can be made, Antigua may decide to go ahead with a copyright payment ban, avoiding having to pay the US for movies, music, etc., based on a previous World Trade Organization ruling.

The counter-offer is said to be the final one before Antigua decides to move forward with the copyright ban. In 2003, government officials of the United States decided that American residents did not need to take part in online poker and casino gaming sites based in the region. Since that time, Antigua and Barbuda have lost around $200 million in estimated revenues.

The island nation eventually asked for help from the World Trade Organization, who ruled in their favor. The WTO decided that the United States did not have the right to restrict player access to the gaming sites. The government of the US did not comply with the ruling so the WTO later stated that Antigua and Barbuda had the option to violate the digital copyright laws of the US in order to regain lost funds.

The copyright offer was never implemented and negotiations continued. Now, Prime Minister Gaston Browne is stating that if the US does not accept their final offer, then the country will move forward with the copyright option. In the report, Browne stated that any one-sided agreement will never be accepted in which the US treats them with contempt and in which they fail to settle the matter in a meaningful way. The hope is that a mutually satisfactory agreement can be reached.

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