EU Criticizes US Online Gambling BanPublished June 21, 2009 by OCR Editor
US ban is protectionist, states new EU report.
An EU investigation into the US ban on online gambling - whether it is protectionist and breaches World Trade Organization agreements - has been completed.
The report finds that European businesses are discriminated against be the American government's ban.
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act - or UIGEA - would escape criticism and be legal had it not allowed local websites to offer online gambling, namely horse racing bets. But as it stands, allowing some and banning the rest goes against international trade agreements, the report claims.
A complaint filed with the EU by London-based Remote Gambling Association (RGA) in March 2008 is thus found to pass the test of the law: US obstacles are unfair and discriminatory.
The US has reached agreement with Antigua last year, though it has not paid the $21 million it owes in compensation. The WTO was the arbitrator in that case as well.
Would the US opt to reach agreement with the EU? If so, it will surely come to more than $21 million, with the ban effects including: "revenue and stock market value lost... and also the threat of serious sanctions hanging over them that affect their normal operations outside of the US," in the words of report.