EU investigates US ban on online gaming companies

The European Union has launched an investigation into US laws banning internet gambling after complaints from European online betting operators.

The Remote Gambling Association (RGA), which represents the interests of online betting companies, lodged a complaint last December claiming that US action against EU companies infringed international trade rules.

Depending on the outcome of the investigation, the EU could file a complaint at the World Trade Organisation.

The move is the latest action in a row that has been ongoing since 2006, when the US passed a law banning European online betting businesses from collecting revenues in the US. This resulted in UK companies Sportingbet, PartyGaming and 888 Holdings suffering majorrevenue losses.

The RGA has welcomed the EU decision to act on its complaint and says the US ban forces European companies out of the lucrative US market.

EU Trade Secretary Peter Mandelson adds that while the US has the right to address public concerns related to internet gambling, “discrimination against EU companies could not be part of the mix”.

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