EU Slams US Gambling Laws

Published April 9, 2009 by OCR Editor

EU Slams US Gambling Laws

European Commission concludes investigation into US online gambling laws by saying they lack legal justification and are discriminatory.

The European Commission, the European Union's executive branch, launched an investigation to determine whether US gambling laws breached World Trade Organization agreements and concluded the laws lack legal justification and are discriminatory.

It stated in a preliminary report that the laws on online gambling and arrests of European gaming company directors are both illegal and an obstruction of legitimate commercial activity.

The commission said that legal action under WTO rules could be a possibility, but recommended that "the issue should be addressed with the US administration, with a view to finding a negotiated solution."

The investigation came in the wake of a complaint filed by the Remote Gambling Association, a roof body representing gambling companies in Europe.

Many European gambling operators left the US gaming market following the passing of the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which effectively banned Internet gambling by outlawing the transfer of funds from a financial institution to Internet gambling sites.

US authorities carried out a series of arrest of European gaming executives and the Department of Justice issues subpoenas against investment banks that had advised European gaming companies.

The Commission said in its report that European companies were still being chased by the American authorities despite having already quit the market.

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