Antigua Online Gambling Talks With U.S. to Conclude

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:

The Antigua Sun on Wednesday is reporting that Finance Antigua's Minister, Dr. Errol Cort, flew to Washington DC yesterday for a meeting with United States Trade Relations (USTR) representatives, regarding online gambling negotiations.

The World Trade Organization issued a decision in 2007 regarding Antigua and Barbuda's request to impose $3.4 billion in retaliatory measures against the United States for allegedly violating its WTO commitments. The tiny island nation, which hosts a few dozen online gambling ventures, claimed the U.S. was engaging in "protectionism" by trying to prevent its citizens from gambling online with Antiguan web sites.

"Considering that Antigua and Barbuda were asking for over $3 billion in compensation, and they were only awarded a token $21 million, this decision is a partial victory for the U.S.," Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va said at the time. "However, I remain concerned about how these countries could extract these sanctions from unrelated U.S. companies, like those in the intellectual property and banking industries."

To date, Antigua has reframed from doing so.

Dr. Cort stated that his mission would be to meet with "high-ranking officials of the Justice Department" in a last attempt to find an amicable resolution in the Internet Gaming matter.

Dr. Cort seemed somewhat optimistic in his evaluation of what to expect in his upcoming meeting with the US officials in DC.

"We've been holding discussions and negotiations over many months; I believe that we've reached a point where we might be able to conclude these negotiations."

Should negotiations break down during this trip, Dr. Cort said they would have to start anew with the (Barack) Obama administration.

Christopher Costigan, Publisher


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