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Europe continues to push U.S. on online gambling issue

 The European Commission remains engaged in solving the online gambling problem with the U.S. after declaring that the U.S. law banning online gambling, along with the legal pursuit of European internet gambling operators was illegal. According to the European Commission, a legal action through the World Trade Commission remains possible, although Europe would like to see the new U.S. administration work out the differences outside international courts. "It is for the US to decide how best to regulate internet gambling in its market, but this must be done in a way that fully respects WTO obligations," EU trade commissioner Lady Ashton was quoted, which clearly encompasses the real issue - online gambling protectionism.

 Even though the U.S. Congress successfully cut funding to and from online gambling websites based abroad in 2006 via the Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, exceptions were carved for U.S.-based online horse racing betting websites, as well as online lotteries organized by some of the states. And despite the fact that the EU publicly traded online gambling companies were quick to exit the U.S. internet gambling market, American authorities continue to pursue high-ranking executives from those firms, the EU Commission noted in its report.

 Published on 03/27/2009

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