US, EU to Intensify Online Gambling TalksPublished July 19, 2009 by OCR Editor
American and European trade chiefs give priority to the dispute over US ban on Internet gambling.
United States and European trade chiefs said on Monday they will intensify work to reach agreement on several matters, including online gambling, news agencies reported.
US Trade Representative Ron Kirk and EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton met in Washington on Monday and said afterwards that online gambling was one of four bilateral trade issues they would focus on.
The three other matters they listed were American rice exports to Europe, a dispute over Irish music right, and chemical regulations.
Ashton said she and Kirk discussed a recent EU report that said US Internet gambling laws hampered trade. European online gambling companies suffered greatly after the passing of the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which effectively banned Internet gambling by outlawing the transfer of funds from financial institutions to gambling websites.
US Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA) has led efforts aimed at overturning laws against gambling, although it was announced recently that hearings on his legislation have been delayed until at least September.
Frank spoke at the opening of the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas last week about his campaign to legalize online gambling, telling the audience that he thinks he can get a bill passed by next year.
Speaking before almost 1,700 poker players at the WSOP Main Event, Frank said that in his view online gambling is a right that must be protected.
Meanwhile, shares in online company PartyGaming reportedly jumped some seven percent, with analysts in Europe remaining optimistic that the US will soon open up its market to online gambling.