The United States has been given one last chance in an online gambling dispute with Antigua and Barbuda before copyright sanctions will be implemented by Prime Minister Gaston Browne. As Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Browne stated that a final counter offer is in the works that will be sent to the Trade Representatives of the United States in regards to the World Trade Organization gambling dispute, an argument that has lasted more than a decade.
The area of Antigua and Barbuda is a series of islands in the Caribbean that has a small population of less than 100,000. The area is much smaller when compared to the United States, which is home to 319 million people. In 2003, the United States and Antigua/Barbuda began a dispute over online gambling. The online gaming industry is huge on the islands as operators can be licensed to offer services in the area. In 2003, the US had decided to block online gambling services from being offered to residents and Antigua/Barbuda lost money because of the blockage. The small Caribbean islands decided that the US was in violation of the General Agreement on Trade in Services, asking the World Trade Organization to assist in their fight.
The WTO conducted an investigation and eventually decided that they agreed with Antigua/Barbuda. The WTO gave the go ahead for copyrights of the US to be violated on items like movies, games, music, etc., to give Antigua/Barbuda the option to earn back funds they felt they were due. Going forward with the copyright sanctions has never happened. Negotiating teams have been back and forth for years with the US never paying up and Antigua/Barbuda never moving forward with the copyright action.
Now, according to media reports, Antigua/Barbuda is tired of waiting. As much as $200 million has been estimated as lost since the US has denied their citizens the option to gamble on servers that are based in Antigua. This is a figure that the Prime Minister would like to see the United States pay up before he moves forward with implementing the copyright payment ban.
Browne has now given a time frame of September, when he visits the United Nations, for the US to make a decision on what they wish to do in the matter. If no resolution is found, the Prime Minister will most likely act on the copyright payment ban.