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$21m annually for Antigua and Barbuda in its dispute with US for online gambling

The World Trade Organization, on 21 December 2007, issued the arbitration report regarding Antigua and Barbuda’s complaint against “United States — Measures affecting the cross-border supply of gambling and betting services” (DS285), especially UIGEA, awarded Antigua and Barbuda an annual $21 million compensation claim against the US and also approved of Antigua’s right to suspend its recognition of US copyright and trademark laws to an amount that does not exceed the value of its claim. Neither country can appeal today’s decision.

On 24 May 2006 started its complaint against US for online gambling. China, the European Union and Japan reserved their third party rights.

On 21 June 2007, Antigua and Barbuda requested authorization to suspend the application to the United States of concessions and related obligatins of Antigua and Barbuda under the GATS and the TRIPS Agreement.

The Arbitrator determines that the annual level of nullification or impairment of benefits accuing to Antigua in this case is US$21 million and that Antigua has followed the principles and procedures of Article 22.3 of the DSU in determining that it is not practicable or effective to suspend concessions or other obligations under the GATS and that the circumstances were serious enough. Accordingly, the Arbitrator determines that Antigua may request authorization from the DSB, to suspend the obligations under the TRIPS Agreement mentioned in paragraph 5.6 above, at a level not exceeding US$21 million annually.

Antigua and Barbuda’s request was for $3.4 billion annually.

A statement from the Office of the US Trade Representative said, “Antigua’s claim was patently excessive. The United States is pleased that the figure arrived at by the arbitrator is over 100 times lower than Antigua’s claim. Because the United States is already taking steps to bring itself into compliance by clarifying its WTO commitments with respect to Internet gambling, the Arbitrator’s award issued today is not paramount.”

Antigua ‘s lawyer Mark Mendel said that “$21 million a year in intellectual property rights suspension going forward indefinitely is not such a bad asset to have”.

Earlier this week, the US settled related claims with the European Union, Canada, and Japan. The US is still in talks with Macau, Costa Rica, and India.

Antigua’s revenue loss, adjustment for competition

 

GBGC


Revenue

loss

 


Contrib.

A&B to

2001
share


Revenue

loss


adjusted


(million dollars)

(per
cent)


(million dollars)

2002

-50

94

-48

2003

356

65

232

2004

388

54

211

2005

394

52

204

2006

435

51

221

Average

304

 

164

 

 


Revenues per employee


Revenue

loss


Contrib.

A&B to

2001
share


Revenue

loss


adjusted


(million dollars)

(per
cent)


(million dollars)

2002

245

94

231

2003

208

65

135

2004

186

54

101

2005

138

52

71

2006

204

51

103

Average

196

 

128


Source
: GBGC, October 2007 and Antigua response to question 21 by the Arbitrator, pages 18-19 and Exhibit AB-17.

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