More proposals, no solution in US gaming dispute

Antigua & Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States Sir Ronald Sanders (file photo)

The government of Antigua and Barbuda says it will decide whether to seek a mediator to intervene in the country’s 15-year long gaming dispute with the United States.

A release from Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States Sir Ronald Sanders stated the government has told Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) the same.

In the release, it was stated that this mediator would be appointed by the WTO Director-General upon Antigua and Barbuda’s request.

Sir Ronald is quoted saying, “after a long period of exhausting attempts to engage the United States, Antigua and Barbuda is now contemplating approaching the Director-General under the DSU provisions to join in seeking a mediated solution that would bring much-needed relief after these arduous 15 years of damage to our economy.”

He says the United States violation of the General Agreement on Trade in Services has caused trade losses of US$315 million to Antigua and Barbuda.

The online gaming dispute began in 2003 when US authorities began to restrict its citizens from accessing internet gaming services based in Antigua & Barbuda.

When the US failed to observe the WTO’s 2004 ruling to allow online gaming, the organization’s Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) ruled in 2007 that Antigua and Barbuda could violate US copyrights to recover what was estimated to be losses of US $21 million annually.