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EU Trade Commissioner calls for revision of US online gambling laws

EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson turns up the pressure on U.S. to change the Internet gambling laws.

EU Trade Commissioner calls for revision of US online gambling laws When the World Trade Organization ruled against the United States in the case brought forward by Antigua and Barbuda in connection with the recently passed Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), the U.S. decided to retroactively remove gambling services from the commitments made all the way back in 1994. The WTO ruled that allowing betting online on horse racing and banning the rest of the online gambling services went against the free trade commitment. Yesterday EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson finally spoke against the decision made by the United States in order to avoid hefty fines.

 "What we need to see is a change in U.S. legislation that removes that discrimination against EU operators. It's not in the interest of American consumers to have good responsible competitors in this market excluded by regulatory mechanisms. When a member of the WTO defaults on its commitments, compensation is due. That's the case of online gambling. 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 told reporters before heading to Capitol Hill to discuss the issue with U.S. lawmakers.

 The European online gambling companies are asking for $100 billion in compensation for the business lost after the passage of the UIGEA. In addition to that number, Antigua and Barbuda are seeking $3.4 billion in compensations.

 Published on 11/09/2007

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