EU calls US gambling laws protectionist

Charlie McCreevy, European Union (EU) internal market commissioner, has accused the US of protectionism through its stance on online gambling by restricting the introduction of foreign competitors into the gambling market and said the EU may look into the matter further.

"In my view it is probably a restrictive practice and we might take it up in another forum,” said McCreevy.

That forum may well be the World Trade Organisation (WTO), an authority the US is familiar with after recently losing a case brought against them by Antigua, relating to the introduction of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

The US has aggressively pursued companies it believes have breached US laws, the latest being the arrest of Stephen Lawrence and John Lefebvre, founders of the online money transfer company NETeller. They face charges of money laundering and a prison sentence of up to 20 years.

However, the US is not the only country the EU may have an issue with. Sixteen states in Germany attempted to ban internet gambling, a move which they brazenly admitted was an attempt to protect the monopoly enjoyed by state-run lotteries.

Editor, Jackpot.co.uk - 2007-01-31 12:01:11




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