Net gambling dispute deadline extended again

Hands tied

U.S. and Antigua and Barbuda officials have once again extended the deadline for resolving their online gambling dispute.

The latest deadline for coming to an agreement about the U.S. online gambling ban and the compensation Antigua and Barbuda would receive because of it was July 11. That deadline came and went without an agreement.

Errol Cort, the Antigua finance minister, announced that the deadline was extended, and according to the Caribbean World News, it could take about three months to know if a compromise will be possible.

The officials agreed to another extension after a U.S. delegation was recently on the island to continue talks in the matter.

The World Trade Organization ruled last year in the favor of Antigua and Barbuda after the tiny island nation said the United States' online gambling ban adversely affects its economy. According to the WTO, Antigua and Barbuda has permission to impose $21 million in retaliatory sanctions.

Those sanctions haven't been imposed yet as the two nations continue to talk about the matter and about appropriate compensation.

Initially Antigua and Barbuda had been asking for $3.4 billion annually in compensation from the United States. When the two nations were unable to come to an agreement on their own, Antigua asked for WTO arbitration, which then granted it the $21 million annually in retaliatory sanctions.

Meanwhile, the United States had also decided to pull online gambling such as online poker, casinos and sports betting from its commitments to the WTO, which opened it up to compensation claims from other nations that are home to online gambling companies.

It also opened it up to another claim from Antigua and Barbuda. The island nation used that second claim as another opportunity to argue its claim for $3.4 billion and negotiate with the United States.

Initially the two nations were headed to WTO arbitration again, but have since continued to work on trying to settle the dispute on their own.

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