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Online Casino News - June, 2008

U.S. Antigua Online Gambling Revenue Settlement Lingers



  Seed Newsvine

by Margaret Oliveira, News Staff Writer

June 4, 2008

With the June 6 deadline for an agreement to settle the Antigua and U.S. online gambling dispute around the corner, an attorney for the Caribbean nation feels that further legal action will be necessary, as the U.S. has shown no signs to produce a fair offer to compensate Antigua for lost revenue.

Representing Antigua and Barbuda, Mark Mendel, recently described U.S. trade representatives as being "unwilling to make a fair offer" and that an extended deadline and/or further legal action will certainly be in order. Antigua's Finance Minister, Dr. Errol Cort, was more optimistic than usual, stating that some progress had been made working up the U.S. chain of command.

The way things stand now is that the World Trade Organization has ruled Antigua should be allotted $21 million per year in lost online horse racing and lottery revenue, which is a much lower figure than their original request of $3.4 billion. Revenue from online casino gambling, poker and sports betting was not tallied into this figure considering the specific horse racing and lottery carve outs in the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

The kicker is that the U.S. has not even made arrangements to honor the $21 million settlement ruled by the WTO. But then again, the U.S. backed out of honoring free trade obligations it originally made as a member of the WTO. So apparently, the U.S. will do whatever it wants to do. Maybe they'll wise up, repeal the UIGEA and put in place sound online gambling regulation like that proposed in the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act.



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