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WTO Antigua Gambling Compensation Claim Ruling Extended Again

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Another delay in the U.S. v. Antigua & Barbuda negotiations regarding Antigua's claim for compensation has been extended yet again, the new date is December 14.

Mark Mendel, an attorney representing Antigua & Barbuda said that there has been an agreement to extend the time-frame for resolution of negotiations, which were originally scheduled to be completed in September, then delayed until October, and now it is December.

Mendel said, "It is languishing...I think they are having a difficult time not only with us, but with the EC. I think its presenting them with more problems than they expected, although why they didn't expect more problems I don't understand."

The U.S. is withdrawing its commitment to provide market access to foreign remote gambling companies from the GATS. The US TR officials expect this to bring final resolution to it's conflict with Antigua & Barbuda, which has won the right to provide this service at WTO hearings.

Since Antigua & Barbuda won it's case at the WTO, the European Union, Australia, Canada, Japan, Costa Rica, India, Macau have joined in filing claims for compensation. Reportedly, Japan and Australia have come to an agreement with the U.S. to satisfy their claims, however, details are not yet available.

Antigua is claiming $3.4 Billion annually. Mendel expressed that the ruling is likely to have a major impact on the Article 21 negotiations. "If we get a pretty sizable figure, I think the European Community will be encouraged to take even stronger lines," said Mendel. Article 21 allows for any member state to file claims for compensation, even those not a party to the suit, and the U.S. is obligated to reach agreements with each of the claiming parties.

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