European Union Turn Around

Published Monday, March 02, 2009 -

Japan, Macao, Canada, Australia, Costa Rica and India were all at the table when the United States was rewriting its trade commitments regarding internet gambling back in 2007.

Antigua and the European Union, were the only sectors anyone was paying any close attention too. Antigua because they brought the issue to the table, and the European Union because they had the potential to demand a large amount of compensation. Sums of around $4 billion were talked about, as well as concessions in shipping and storage. To date neither the United States or the European Union, has revealed the details of the agreement. Antigua, won a decision for $21 million a year as compensation for being the effected party in the gambling dispute, but has yet to come to an agreement which would allow the US change its commitments.

The Centre for International Policy has demanded to know what exactly the United States gave up in all these agreements, since the other countries have a right to know.

Almost immediately after the European Union made its decision to allow the U.S. to rewrite its commitments, the Remote Gambling Association in the United Kingdom came forward complaining about U.S. discriminatory policy.

Clive Hawkswood RGA spokesperson made it clear, that the issue did not involve the ability to offer gambling services in the U.S. by European companies, but that the United States' attempted to arrest E.U. citizens for offering their services prior to the U.S. ban on online gambling.

It sounds as if the RGA is no longer interested in just a stop to arrests of E.U. operators, but now wants full access to the U.S. market. Australia, Macao, Costa Rica and Canada would surely also be excited about unlimited access to the U.S. market for gambling services. In Canada it looks like the country is about to allow single game sportsbetting, and Ontario wants to offer an online network.

In short the E.U. is taking a second look at this agreement and they are trying to work out something that will satisfy all interested parties. A big issue that is not even close to being resolved.

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