Antigua Gambling Dispute continues without resolution
A long running Antigua gambling dispute has added to the hardship of the economy. The dispute centres around online gambling and has been running for many years.
The dispute has cost the islands around $200 million dollars and goes back to the 1990’s when Antigua was a centre for online gambling casinos, popular with American citizens.
During the peak time the Antigua gambling industry employed 4000 people an generated a revenue of $3.4 billion dollars annually. Currently the onling gambling industry provides jobs for just 300 – 400 people. It has contracted by around 90% which has be a major setback for the islands.
The problem began then the US started a campaign to prevent Americans from gambling at the many online casinos which quickly sprung up on the nation. It was a boom time for the islands which subsequently fell victim to new US policy.
The US turned down a request for compensation but then in 2004, Antigua and Barbuda asked the World Trade Organisation to arbitrate. They found that the US had violated it’s commitments and ordered the US $21 million a year in losses. The total sum is now more than $200 million.
The Antiguan gambling dispute remains unsettled and the two governments remain deadlocked.
The storm ravaged islands have suffered badly and the cost of rebuilding is estimated to be in the region of $250 million. The resolution of this dispute would facilitate a welcome injection to the cash strapped economy of these Caribbean Islands.
Read more about the dialogue in the local Caribbean island news.
Read more about US Gambling Trends