Feeds

EU investigates DOJ internet gambling tactics

WTO case against the US on the way?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

The European Union launched an investigation today into discriminatory trade practices by the United States in the internet gambling industry, according to a press release from the European Commission. The move could pave the way for a formal complaint with the World Trade Organization.

"The U.S. has the right to address legitimate public policy concerns relating to Internet gambling, but discrimination against EU companies cannot be part of the policy mix," Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson noted.

Although the European Commission reached an agreement with the United States in December on compensation for America’s unilateral withdrawal from its General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) gambling commitments - an agreement widely ridiculed as selling the European internet gambling industry down the river - the American Department of Justice (DOJ) continues to investigate the activities of European firms prior to that withdrawal, when European companies such as PartyGaming arguably had the right to sell gaming services to American customers.

The December agreement thus appears to cover compensation going forward, without redress for past wrongs, which is why the DoJ is still on the prowl for European internet gambling companies and the EU Trade Commission is still pursuing potential WTO claims. The passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in the summer of 2006 and increased enforcement thereafter devastated the European online gambling industry - the total market value of the publicly traded companies dropped by half. SportingBet dumped its American unit for a dollar.

The news was naturally welcomed by the Remote Gambling Association (RGA), a European trade association.

"We cannot simply sit on the sidelines and watch while our members, who are already badly bruised by unlawful U.S. acts, suffer the double whammy of being prosecuted for activities whilst U.S. industry is not," said Clive Hawkswood, chief executive of the London-based RGA. "By any analysis, the U.S. policy is fundamentally unfair, and we are delighted that the commission shares our concern." ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.