Three more join compensation claims against U.S.

Mt. Rushmore

The list of countries joining Antigua and Barbuda in filing claims against the United States because of its online gambling laws is now up to seven as Canada, Australia and Macao have joined in as well.

Mark Mendel, a lawyer at Mendel Blumenfeld LLP which is representing Antigua and Barbuda in the World Trade Organization case, confirmed for that the list of claimants now includes:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Costa Rica
  • European Communities
  • India
  • Japan
  • Macao

Antigua and Barbuda is the only nation so far to actually set a dollar amount and declare how they intend to seek compensation, but the added countries lend weight to the issue and support for the tiny island nation.

The country wants $3.4 billion annually from the U.S. and is asking for commercial sanction and the authority to target American trademarks and copyrights if the U.S. laws regarding online gambling aren't changed.

The World Trade Organization released its ruling at the end of March that the United States still hadn't come into compliance with trade regulations regarding its online gambling ban.

The ruling opened the door for countries to seek compensation from the U.S. unless it changes its laws to comply with the free trade agreements set out when it joined the WTO.

The U.S.'s response is that it will change its agreements with the WTO to specifically exclude online gambling, but that could take years and doesn't eliminate the possibility of having to settle with the countries filing claims now.

The list of claimants includes some big trade partners for the U.S., which could carry serious weight in determining how the U.S. decides to proceed in the matter.

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