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EU Commissioner warns US on gambling ban

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The European Union's internal market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy yesterday accused the US government of protectionism in the way it is dealing with online gambling.

According to the Financial Times, McCreevy said: "In my view it is probably a restrictive practice and we might take it up in another forum." He said the case could go to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The commission has warned countries within the union that gambling and sports betting should be considered as any other service.

But the US has taken broad action against online gambling arresting executives at gaming firms, as well as firms which provide financial services to such companies.

Two former executives from payment company NETeller were arrested earlier this month on money laundering charges. Federal authorities also issued demands for information from a slate of financial services companies including Credit Suisse and HSBC.

The US has already lost one case before the WTO brought by Antigua. ®

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