Antigua May Seek Additional Sanctions Against the U.S.
By Scott Carlson, Rakeback.com Poker News Senior Writer
The tiny Caribbean island of Antigua announced Wednesday they may consider filing additional legal action against the U.S with the World Trade Organization (WTO) over the recent action against online poker sites. One of the three poker sites named in the indictment by the U.S Department of Justice last week was Antigua based Absolute Poker.
This wouldn’t be the first time Antigua filed suit against the U.S over WTO violations. In 2005 the WTO issued a judgment against the U.S for prosecuting the owners of offshore gaming companies.
Antigua received a settlement amount of $21 million which could be obtained by suspending intellectual property rights by U.S. firms. The example used most often back in 2005 was the sale of unlicensed Microsoft software without facing international copyright laws.
Whether the current actions brought against the online poker sites warrants additional sanctions against the U.S remains to be seen. The additional charges of bank fraud and money laundering appears to be a significant difference between the 2005 charges and the ones handed down last week.
In a phone conversation with Reuters Thursday, Antiguan legal advisor Mark Mendel said “I don’t think there’s another country in the world that puts people in jail for engaging in trade that’s lawful under international law. It’s (the same) as if Antigua would put Americans in jail for selling pineapples.”
There was no word whether it is illegal to sell pineapples in Antigua or not in the article.