Feud over Online Casino between Antigua and USA near the End
Antigua’s Minister of Finance and Economy are visiting the United States these days to clarify the outstanding claim they have on $21 million for lost revenue from online casino industry. This industry is especially crucial to Antigua, which is hosting many of the online casino companies. The Minister will be meeting with the Trade Representative of United States, Susan Schwab in Washington DC for lengthy and hopefully positive talks on a possible solution.
The affair started already last year, when Antigua charged that USA was in violation with the free trade agreements they signed with the World Trade Organization. Antigua claimed that USA violated the agreement by prohibiting online casino sites to operate in the United States and thereby prevents their citizens to play at international online casino sites. World Trade Organization sided with Antigua in the case and ruled that, the USA needs to compensate Antigua with $21 million for loss of revenue. This is, however, just a fraction of the original amount on $3.44 billion Antigua originally pursued.
Antigua is not the only country which is suing the United States for breach of the Free Trade Agreement. Many European countries, who also have an interest in the online casino industry, are now considering following Antigua’s example. The next days negotiation between Antigua and USA will show which direction the wind is blowing and which steps USA are willing to take in order not to be swamped by law suits from all over the world. It might just be that this is the incentive to remove the undesired online casino bill.