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US-EU online gambling haggle extended

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The US now has until 14 December to come up with a trade compensation scheme for the blow its curbs on internet gambling have dealt EU firms.

Politicos have effectively imposed a trade embargo that bans foreign firms from playing in the US's multibillion dollar gaming market. It has sent their stock tumbling.

Talks between US and EU officials have not delivered a settlement yet, though the US must offer compensation under its World Trade Organisation obligations, or could face sanctions.

EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson is due in Washington in early November, and is expected to push Congress to cough up for the loss of business to European firms. They want $100bn, it's been reported.

Reuters reports today that some online gambling companies want Mandelson to tell Congress to overturn the ban, or face his wrath. Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank has led calls Stateside to bin the legislation, which was passed last October.

The Congressman, chair of the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, has proposed laws to overule the restrictions, but found little support. The European Commission has confirmed Frank and Mandelson will discuss the stand-off. ®

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