|A legal battle between the United States and the tiny island nation of Antigua over online gambling that has dragged on for over five years looks set to continue after the White House missed its deadline of April 1.|
The US was due to put forward proposals by the end of March to settle the long-running Internet gambling dispute and officials from the Caribbean nation were reportedly taking a wait and see attitude. However, the deadline has now passed with neither Mark Mendel, the attorney for Antigua in the case, and Mark Mendel, or the local Directorate of Gaming receiving any word from American officials.
It is a case that has seen many delays and missed deadlines and the failure of the US to put forward a settlement proposal by the end of the month has been met with an air of resignation in the nation according to the local Antigua Sun newspaper.
Officials stated that they would continue with their wait and see approach with Mendel making it clear that any settlement would be expected to address the United States’ failure to comply with a World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruling on access for online gaming operators. This was the subject of a $21 million sanction award granted in December by a WTO Dispute Settlement Body arbitrator against the United States.
In addition, any proposals must also include Antigua’s claim for compensation as The White House seeks to withdraw from its commitments to provide market access to the sector under the WTO’s General Agreement on Trade in Services. Antigua had already filed a notice in January requesting arbitration by the WTO but had hoped to avoid this scenario by negotiating directly with the US.