European Union To File Trade Allegations Against United States

Published on: June 1, 2008 

The European Union Commission is formally investigating the United States’ international trade policy regarding the bill that was passed a few years ago restricting financial institutions and banks from completing customer transactions to and from online gambling sites.  It is a form of interference in fair trade agreements and the Commission is giving the World Trade Organization a list of questions they want answered regarding the restrictions.

The investigation comes after many nations that are members of the European Union complained to the Commission about the restrictions that were imposed.  Many online casinos and poker rooms simply restricted American players and wound up losing a good deal of money.  The list of questions is a preliminary step towards filing a formal complaint against the United States and many nations are questioning why the Bush administration is for world wide free trade yet are blocking online gaming operations that are licensed and located overseas.

Antigua, one of the countries that license these websites, has already filed a complaint against the United States with the WTO and was awarded a $21 million settlement.  The government of the United States has refused to honor the settlement, but they may not be so lucky if the European Union files a formal complaint.  Open trade policies with other countries could be at stake.

Online casino and poker room players have had a champion in congressional representative Barney Frank who is trying to legislation passed that would nullify the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.  If he is successful, the government could still honor the fair trade agreements that are currently in place, and still be able to regulate and tax the online gambling websites.  According to European Union trade commissioner, Peter Mandelson, “I think (Rep. Frank) takes a fair-minded, common sense approach.”

Mandelson is looking for a way to negotiate a settlement that will be agreeable to everyone involved without having to go all the way to the World Trade Organization.  He does not feel that a settlement can be reached, however, if the United States continues to practice what other nations are considering discriminatory trade practices.  Already the UIGEA has been declared “all but unenforceable” by the Fed and Treasury, denounced by many banks and financial institutions and snubbed by citizens.  Only eleven American states have outright banned online gambling and the government left the regulating of online gaming to the states.  Savvy citizens have found ways to bypass the restrictions, and the UIGEA is causing more tax dollars to be lost than gained.

Other Recent News:
News Archives
2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
Casino Offers