Antigua and US Battle Over Online Gambling

By Maria McCoyGoogle

Antigua and the United States continued their online casino games dispute last week at a World Trade Organization meeting. Antigua is angered by the United States’ pursuit and prosecution of online casino game operators on its territory and is accusing the US of violating international trade agreements. Antigua is pushing for sanction against the US on the issue.

During this process, both the United States and Antigua have placed blame on the other for failing to reach a solution to the problem in an agreeable way.

The government of Antigua and Barbuda presented a letter to the WTO Dispute Settlement Body in their desire to “negotiate a settlement with the US” and requested that the United States “observe its international obligations in good faith and with due consideration for the rights of Antigua & Barbuda.”

Antigua has claimed that their lost revenue from lack of top rated online casinos and the US action against them has cost them $3.4 billion a year due. The WTO has awarded $21 million in damages against the United States

Meanwhile, the United States has continued to crack down on companies that provide casino games online in Antigua and other jurisdictions.

Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer of Antigua and Barbuda has expressed his regret that the US government has not done enough to properly settle the online casino games disagreement with the country.

Prime Minister Spencer commented, “Antigua and Barbuda had put forward several options to settle the case but there has been no fairness in the proposals received from the United States to date.  Antigua and Barbuda’s Internet gaming sector has been decimated by the actions of the United States, and we believe that we must be fairly compensated for those losses.”

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