ntigua accuses the US of crippling its gambling industry by banning Americans from placing online bets with gambling operators, including those based in the twin-island country of just 70,000 inhabitants.
On June 6th, a World Trade Organization deadline passed without resolution. The WTO last year backed Antigua’s request to target US services, copyrights and trademarks in retaliation for a US online betting ban, but ruled it could impose only us$ 21 million in annual trade sanctions.
On Monday, Finance Minister Errol Cort said sit-downs with US trade representatives could achieve resolution over the gambling discord by a new settlement deadline of Friday. Cort told reporters that the June 20th deadline will "allow both parties additional time to see whether we’re able to meet some amicable resolution". He did not disclose any further details.
Sean M Spicer, a spokesman for the office of the US Trade Representative, also said that the US and Antigua were trying in good faith to settle the dispute through a mutual agreement.
In 2006 US Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) which bars banks and credit card companies from processing payments to online gambling businesses outside the country. That regulation effectively blocks Antigua’s access to the US gambling market, the most lucrative in the world.