Antigua Declares War on US Over Internet Gambling Conflict

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Antigua Declares War on US Over Internet Gambling Conflict

Forget Iran.  Forget North Korea.  The US has another battle to contend with a little closer to home as the tiny Caribbean island of Antigua has declared war on the United States of America…Well sort of.


Antigua has been in a decades long battle with the US over the former nation’s hosting of online gambling companies.  The World Trade Organization rewarded Antigua a $3.4 billion judgment and now the island nation is looking to collect. 


They are looking to pursue sanctions.

That’s right, sanctions against the USA.

“It is not in our interest to have a fight with the United States,' Antigua's Finance Minister Howard Lovell said. 'But we believe that as a sovereign nation, we are entitled to all the rights and protection of the WTO. My country has exhausted all other possibilities and believe it is time to pursue sanctions.”

And what might these sanctions entail?

From the St. Kitt’s and Nevis Observer

Lovell said his country plans to turn the tables on America and seize its right to America's intellectual properties such as copyrights, music, movies and software to compensate for the perceived damages against Antigua and Barbuda.

The WTO sided with Antigua in 2007 and awarded the federation the right to target such valuable intellectual copyrights and trademarks as compensation for its economic losses stemming from the Justice Department's actions.

While Antigua is claiming huge losses to its economy and wants to impose a $3.4 bill on America for economic losses and punitive damages, the WTO capped the limit it would sanction at $21 million annually. America offered a trifling $500,000 per year, which Antigua and Barbuda summarily rejected.

As for legalization of online gambling in the US, this process has begun to take shape at the state level with Nevada and Delaware already allowing the activity.  New Jersey is expected to pass similar legislation in the next two months.

Federal efforts have been met with stiff opposition to date. 

- Jagajeet Chiba,

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