Antigua and Barbuda v. United States of America (World Trade Organization, United States Measures Affecting the Cross-Border Supply of Gambling and Betting Services, WT/DS285/RW, 30 March 2007)
Online casino gaming is controversial in the United States and the federal government deems online gaming to be illegal. In fact, the U.S. government has attempted to block public access to online gaming and prosecuted online gaming operators.
The small, twin-island Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda has been especially hurt by these actions as it had a relatively large online gaming industry serving U.S. customers.
In 2003, Antigua and Barbuda initiated claims before the World Trade Organization (WTO) that the United States violated its General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) commitment to free trade with respect to gambling and betting services.
In 2005, the WTO ruled in favor of Antigua and Barbuda and required that the United States comply with its GATS commitment and allow online gaming. The United States, however, did not do so and ultimately withdrew it commitment to free trade in gambling services. As a result, Antigua and Barbuda pursued trade loss damages against the United States in an arbitration before a panel of the WTO.
From 2007 through 2008, Alan Meister served as an economic expert in this WTO arbitration matter to compute trade losses to Antigua as a result of U.S. measures to restrict foreign gaming operators from providing online wagering services to U.S. customers.