Sun, 12/30/2007 - 11:09 - Antigua Disappointed By WTO Gambling Sanctions Ruling

Antigua and Barbuda have won compensation from the U.S after a long-running dispute over online gambling. The amount won, however, was much lower than the nation had hoped.

An arbitration panel set up by the World Trade Organization (W.T.O) granted Antigua's request to levy trade sanctions on U.S. intellectual property. The panel ruled that Antigua were entitled to $21 million a year as compensation for being shut out of the U.S. online gambling market.

The ruling disappointed Antigua, who had demanded $3.44 billion – seeking damages outside of the online gambling sector. Washington had responded with the argument that Antigua were only entitled to $500,000 in compensation.

Sean Spicer, a spokesman for the U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab commented that “The United States is pleased that the figure arrived at by the arbitrator is over 100 times lower than Antigua's claim”.

The ruling, reached on Friday, was called an “absurdly low” figure by Mark Mendel, one of the lawyers working on the case for Antigua.

This is the second ruling this week related to the U.S decision to pull out of the WTO gambling trade deal. The EU recently announced that they had come to an agreement with Washington over access to the U.S postal and courier, storage and warehouse, and research and development sectors as a form of compensation.

This deal was bad news for many European gambling firms who had hoped that the EU would continue to fight the ban.