Finance minister Harold Lovell (pictured) said the Caribbean island nation will seek $21m in annual sanctions as a result of the US ban on online gambling, unless a last-minute agreement can be reached.

Antigua & Barbuda finance minister Harold Lovell

Lovell said that Antigua and Barbuda had its ‘‘back pushed right up against the wall’’ due to the continuing effects of the 2006 US legislation banning banks and credit card companies from processing payments to online gambling sites outside the country.

Although this blocked the country from operating in the US market, in 2007 the World Trade Organisation awarded Antigua and Barbuda the right to target US services, copyrights and trademarks.

The ruling capped the annual trade sanctions at $21m per year.