Minister : Gov’t resolute in gaming dispute

The government remains resolute in its stance to get the United States to pay more than $200 million, in compensation for a World Trading Organization (WTO) decision in ab gaming dispute ongoing for over a decade.

Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology Melford Nicholas while speaking at the post Cabinet press briefing said he believes some moral suasion will be brought on the United States government.

“The Antiguan government holds the view that it still has a legitimate claim. The fact that we are nowhere close to a settlement is what I think the frustration is because it had gone on for a decade. I don’t think there is no intention or willingness for the Antigua government to acquiesce and to accept anything less than it is justly due,” Nicholas said.

Antigua & Barbuda has been battling with the US for 13 years and a WTO ruling determined the country is entitled to more than US $200 million.

“The prime minister did indicate to Cabinet [on Wednesday] that senior members of the Obama administration, notwithstanding the recent iteration, that we are holding our position on both sides. There is going to be renewed commitment, both in the US State Department to bring this matter to some sort of resolution. We remain hopeful,” Nicholas said.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne said on Monday that Washington is seemingly not interested in paying the twin-island nation.

Meanwhile, UK-based gaming consultant Christina Thakor-Rankin is advising the government not to be so hasty in conceding defeat.

“If you look at what is happening in the US, you may end up with a US president that does not have an issue with a gaming dispute. Yes, it may have been a long time, but just wait and see what will happen in the next few months,” she said.