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Antigua expects to resolve its longstanding online gambling trade dispute with the US government

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Staff member
Jan 14, 2008
On Christmas Eve, Antigua Foreign Affairs Minister Charles Fernandez told local reporters that Antigua’s government had received and reviewed the US’ latest offer to resolve the World Trade Organization dispute. Fernandez declined to provide any specifics on the US offer.

According to the Antigua Observer, Fernandez suggested Antigua was leaning towards accepting the US offer, thereby paving the way for the matter to be resolved as early as January 2016.
That would be nearly 13 years since Antigua filed its original WTO complaint over America’s protectionist online gambling policy.

Antigua accused the US of unfairly discriminating against nations that had licensed US-facing online gambling sites. The US claimed it had a responsibility to block international sites to reduce problem gambling behavior,
but the WTO called that policy hypocritical given that the US allowed domestic operators to offer online horseracing wagers.

The WTO authorized Antigua to collect an annual $21m from the US to offset the impact of the US ban, but the US has so far not paid a penny of this accumulating debt. Antigua’s new
Prime Minister Gaston Browne has made good-faith offers that would cut the US’ financial obligation in half, but while talks were said to be progressing, no tangible progress has been publicly disclosed.