The tiny Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda is pushing back against legislation by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that would legalize online poker.
Antigua’s government is saying the bill, drafted by Reid and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), mischaracterizes a long-running trade dispute between Antigua and the United States. They argue the legislation takes specific aim at offshore online gambling operators to favor U.S. companies, hurting Antigua’s Internet gaming industry in the process.
Mark Mendel, a legal adviser to Antigua, said passage of the online poker bill would worsen trade relations with the United States.
“If they pass this legislation, we can go back to the [World Trade Organization (WTO)] and embarrass them even further,” Mendel said. “Work with us before this thing becomes law and figure this out and reach a settlement. … We want to work with you, we want to have a fair and reasonable settlement, and this is the perfect time to get it done.”