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US Government is Testing EU Patience on Online Gambling Laws

8 April, 2009, Peter Bowman, Staff writer

When the EU Trade Commission released its report into US online gambling laws in March, it contained 2 very important mandates.  The first was the finding that US online gambling laws were discriminatory and represented a clear breach of international free obligations of the United States.  To this end, the report formalized the European Unions long held disapproval of the US approach to online gambling and opened the door to bringing a case before the World Trade Organization.

The second, was a grace period afforded the US Government to address the problem so that a spat before the WTO could be avoided.

Well time is ticking and as yet there has been no announcement by the US Government on any intention to change their current approach.

There are however rumblings that behind the scenes things are starting to happen.  Congressman Barney Frank has promised to introduce legislation repealing the UIGEA in the very near future, although as yet none has been put before Congress.  And in another sign that a regulatory approach may be on the horizon, online gaming giant Party Gaming has agreed to settle charges brought by the US government for accepting bets from US residents up to 2006, in a move some believe is motivated by the possibility of obtaining a US operating license once a regulatory framework is in place.

Never a dull moment in the world of online gambling.



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