Gaming body hits out at US for 193m fine

Online gaming body, the Remote Gambling Association (RGA), has hit out at US authorities for fining PartyGaming co-founder Anurag Dikshit £193m. It is the latest incident in the battle that ensued after the US banned European online betting businesses from collecting revenues in the US.

The RGA is calling on the European Commission to protect the interests of EU-based online gambling operators.

The US law, which was put in place in 2006, resulted in UK companies Sportingbet, 888 Holdings and PartyGaming suffering massive revenue losses.

The RGA has reacted furiously to the agreement which has seen Dikshit plead guilty to charges under US gambling laws and agree to pay fines amounting to £193m ($300m). The RGA says the enforcement by US authorities is “retroactive and discriminatory”.

The action disregards a request made earlier this year to the US authorities by the then EU Trade Secretary, Peter Mandelson, for prosecutions to be put on hold until a proper dialogue could take place and an EU enquiry into whether US action against European-based operators infringed international trade rules.

The enquiry could result in the EU filing a complaint with the World Trade Organisation (MW.co.uk March 20).

RGA chief executive Clive Hawkswood says: “Not only has that request remained unanswered but now the US authorities, it seems, have succeeded in pressuring a major shareholder into making a deal. A major line has been crossed and it could set a very worrying precedent”.

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