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Antigua And Barbuda Turns To US To Settle Gambling Dispute

For over 20 years now, the country’s gambling regulation has found itself at loggerheads with the United States’ gambling laws, which Antigua and Barbuda has insisted are discriminatory. The country even won a case with the World Trade Organization, as it was shut out of the United States gambling market and sought a $21 million annual compensation.

Time to Put Bad Blood Away However, the money has not been coming, and the country now wants the US government to act as Antigua and Barbuda’s economic losses continue to mount. The country has reiterated an early stance that it is willing to seek and settle the dispute with mutual accord and on amicable terms, but it would need the US to engage in discussions and find a settlement.

The United States has responded that it is willing to work with Antigua and Barbuda but argued that such efforts must also come as part of a genuine effort to find a resolution. This has been ongoing for a while now, as the laws that are arguably hurting the Caribbean country’s economy were passed back in 2003.

The issue has festered ever since with no resolution in sight. The dispute centres on Antigua and Barbuda’s decision to build an internet licensing regime for gambling companies to offset declining tourism revenue, but eventually and perhaps rightly finding itself shut out of the United States because of laws about cross-border gambling and transference of data which is respected to this very day on the mainland.

Decision Long Overdue and Economy Hurting Now, though, the Caribbean country is hoping to benefit from the elusive $21 million annual payments from the United States, partially leaning in on the World Trade Organization as a mediator. The international body has granted the country the right to use trade sanctions to recoup its losses, but this would not put the Caribbean nation in any better situation, as engaging in a quasi-trade war with the United States holds no benefits to its economy.

This is why the country has instead urged its much bigger neighbor to agree to the $21 million settlement. However, there seems to be a dissonance between what the United States can and is willing to offer and what the Caribbean country believes it should rightfully receive.

The latest appeals come at a time when the country’s economy continues to struggle feeling the pinch of the denied access from the United States.

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