The Internet gaming sector has registered its
satisfaction at the final decision of the WTO Appellate
Body, but said there are still some challenges
Director of Internet Gaming Kaye McDonald told
reporters at yesterday's press conference at the
Ministry of Finance that the decision handed down by the
Appellate Body "marked the day Antigua has a voice and
is really being heard" on the world stage.
Although she was careful to add that the report would
need careful examination, McDonald said that there was
an expected "windfall in licences based on the fact that
we have won the appeal."
She based her predications on the increase that was
seen after the first ruling in early 2004 where
licensees went up from 22 to 46.
"It is growing and we expect to have some real
economic growth in this area so we can see what we used
to enjoy in 1999 where it contributed about 10 per cent
of the GDP," McDonald said.
The director noted however, that though a windfall
was expected, "it will take some time."
In terms of implementation on the US side, she said
it would take at least 15 months, for "the US will have
to change their laws and abide by the Appellate Body
ruling," and during this time both the Antigua &
Barbuda and US sides would have to meet at the table to
put "some real systematic measures in place so we can
have market access."
Spokesperson for the Antigua & Barbuda Offshore
Gaming Association (AOG) Ronald Maginley called the
ruling "a significant and fantastic win" noting that
many of the problems encountered by members of the AOG
in gaining access to the US market could now be
alleviated through "proactive negotiating.
"This is going to be the big challenge that we face
now with the ruling which confirms Antigua &
"We now need to see how we can turn this into a very
practical manner in terms of gaining access to the US
Another challenge he highlighted was enhancing the
country's image, not only an attractive jurisdiction for
licensing, but also for operation.
"The employment benefit does not accrue to Antigua
& Barbuda unless people are operating from Antigua