EU puts more pressure on US to change gambling laws

The European Union (EU) has intensified its pressure on the United States to change its online gambling ban, with the E.U’s top trade official claiming the law discriminates against European companies.

"What we need to see is a change in U.S. legislation that removes that discrimination against EU operators," said EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson before he went to Capitol Hill to discuss the matter with U.S authorities.

"It's not in the interest of American consumers to have good responsible competitors in this market excluded by regulatory mechanisms."

The European Union are seeking massive compensation from the United States resulting from the introduction of the widely-criticised Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). It is thought the E.U will try to claim as much as $100 billion from the United States.

"When a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) defaults on its commitments, compensation is due. That's the case of online gambling," Mandelson said.

"We're in talks about the magnitude of that compensation. I think what we're asking for is reasonable and realistic. The numbers aren't quite as large as has been advertised, but they need to be substantial."

Mandelson went on to applaud the efforts of Republican Barney Frank, chairman of the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, to amend the UIGEA.

"I think he takes a fair-minded, common sense, approach to this and we look forward to that being effective legislation," Mandelson said.

"We're not telling the United States how to regulate this industry. That's not for us to do. All we're saying is, however you choose to regulate, don't discriminate against non-American operators."

Editor, - 2007-11-09 11:52:55

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