|Following months of negotiations, the United States has reached a compensation deal with the European Union (EU), Japan and Canada that will allow the Americans to keep their online gambling market closed to foreign companies.|
The decision is a disappointment for European online gambling companies who had hoped a case brought by Antigua And Barbuda several years ago at the World Trade Organization (WTO) would give them a foothold back into the US market.
'We are pleased to confirm that the United States has reached agreement with Canada, the EU and Japan,' said Gretchen Hamel, Spokeswoman for the US Trade Representative.
Antigua successfully took the US to the WTO and argued in front of an arbitration panel for compensation following the passage of a 2005 law, which changed which firms could provide Americans with horseracing gambling services. The law read that only domestic American concerns could offer these services to US-based players with the tiny Caribbean island nation arguing that this was protectionism and discriminated against foreign firms. The WTO agreed and Antigua could now receive as much as $3.44 billion in compensation from Washington.
Hamel stated that the deal reached with the EU, Japan and Canada involves commitments to maintain liberalised markets for services including warehousing, technical testing, research and development and outbound international letters.
Hamel also revealed that the US is still in talks with India, Macau and Costa Rica over similar compensation packages.