Antigua and Barbuda’s Fight for Online Gambling Continues

Antigua and BarbudaArbitrators for the World Trade Organization (WTO) will here the case outlined by Antigua and Barbuda in there ongoing online gambling dispute with the U.S. They are seeking $3.4 billion in trade sanctions and hope the three member panel will have a decision by November 30th.

The government of Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer has shown a willingness to negotiate these terms but the powers in Washington have yet to show any indication that they are ready to negotiate.

This has lead Mark Mendel, Antigua’s lead attorney to state,
“So far, we have been the only ones willing to negotiate, and it takes two to get a deal done. That is what we have always wanted to happen. Hopefully, they will come around and see that it is the best and right thing to do.”

Due in Washington next week for International Monetary Fund /World Bank meetings, Finance and Economy Minister Dr Errol Cort has said he is going to keep in close contact with those in Geneva for the arbitration meeting.

He would like to know the outcome of those hearings before scheduling his own meeting with the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) Office.

Cort stated, “So I am still hopeful that we will meet when I go to Washington but I am awaiting initially the first impressions from our representatives in Geneva at the end of the first day of the hearing on Thursday. So at least I would be in a better position when I meet with the USTR’s office in Washington to know exactly what position we will take.”

Last year the WTO ruled that it was not legal for the U.S. to target offshore online gambling operators and not apply the same rules to U.S. operators. Washington then moved to remove online gambling from it is WTO obligation. This has prompted other nations such as Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, India, Japan, Macau and the member states of the European Union to now join with Antigua and Barbuda, each country now filing separate compensation claims.

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