EU Says U.S. Needs To Change Net Gambling Law

    November 8, 2007

The European Union Trade Commissioner, Peter Mandelson said the Untied States should change the Internet gambling law that discriminates against European companies by not allowing them to offer their services in the U.S.

"What we need to see is a change in U.S. legislation that removes that discrimination against EU operators," Mandelson told reporters before going to Capitol Hill to talk about the issue with U.S. lawmakers.

 EU Says U.S. Needs To Change Internet Gambling Law

"It’s not in the interest of American consumers to have good responsible competitors in this market excluded by regulatory mechanisms."

The European Union has been in compensation talks with the United States since Washington decided to retroactively ban gambling services from the market -opening promises it made in 1994 as part of the Uruguay Round world trade agreement.

The United States took the action after the World Trade Organization ruled in a case brought by the Caribbean nation Antigua and Barbuda. Last year congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which is a stricter online gambling ban.

EU gambling companies have asked the bloc to demand as much as $100 billion in compensation for not being allowed in the U.S. market. "When a member of the WTO defaults on its commitments, compensation is due. That’s the case of online gambling," Mandelson said according to Reuters.

Mandelson said he would speak with Rep. Barney Frank, chairman of the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee about his bill to end the online gambling ban.

"This issue could be resolved very simply by regulation in the U.S.," said Gordon Price, CEO of, "if the U.S. government would consider the merits of Congressman Barney Frank’s bill H.R. 2046, which includes regulation, licensing, and enforcement, with adequate safeguards to protect minors and problem gamblers."

Madelson added that the EU is not telling the United States how to regulate the online gambling industry, but that however they regulate not to discriminate against non- American firms.