U.S. delays online gambling meetings with EU

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A number of media sources are reporting the United States has delayed talks with European Union representatives regarding online gambling.

The meeting between the two global giants had been planned for next week in Washington, D.C. At issue is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in the U.S., which European online gambling operators are alleging is discriminatory against non-U.S. operators.

The problem, according to the European operators, is that the law is hypocritical because it excludes offshore businesses from the market while local gambling operations, especially horse racing, are permitted.

Complaints were originally made by the Remote Gambling Association (RGA), and the EU subsequently issued a formal questionnaire to U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab. Schwab promptly denied any form of discrimination against European operators, saying that any charges against said operators were not based on nationality.

Over the past couple of years the U.S. has taken a lot of heat regarding UIGEA. The issue seemed to come to a head when the World Trade Organization ruled in favor of Antigua and Barbuda, which is home to numerous online gambling operators.

Rather than change its laws to comply with the ruling, the U.S. chose to pay compensation to Antigua and Barbuda and to withdraw online gambling from its commitments to the WTO.

The EU had previously come to an agreement with the U.S. over trade concessions as compensation but looked further into the issue after complaints from the RGA.

The U.S. is requesting that talks be postponed until a date that has not yet been revealed. The reason behind the delay is not known.

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