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US and EU agreement on online gambling, possible Canada and Japan

Unfortunately for the online casinos and poker rooms, the agreement (signed in Geneva) is not to change UIGEA, but to compensate EU for this ban.

United States will compensate European Union especially in the domain of the trade, and mail services. In accordance with Business Week, “This compensation cannot be quantified up to the euro,” the EU mission to the WTO said in an e-mailed statement. “Nonetheless, it is clear that new trade opportunities are created for EU service suppliers in important sectors in the U.S.”

US will also provide access to research and development in the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities, and will help the European companies offering technical testing and analysis services.

“We are pleased to confirm that the United States has reached agreement … with Canada, the EU and Japan” Gretchen Hamel, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said in a statement. “The agreement involves commitments to maintain our liberalized markets for warehousing services, technical testing services, research and development services and postal services relating to outbound international letters”.  (Reuters)

EU officials declared that EU will continue to believe that it is better to regulate than to prohibit online gambling. “While the US is free to decide how to best respond to legitimate public policy concerns relating to internet gambling, discrimination against EU or other foreign companies should be avoided,” said Peter Power, EU trade spokesman.

Peter Mandelson, EU trade commissioner, said last month that he would be pressing for “substantial” compensation. European gaming companies have claimed losses of an estimated $4bn a year from the US move.

Clive Hawkswood, of the Remote Gambling Association, said he was “disappointed but not surprised” at the EU settlement. The sector’s best hope was for the EU to take its claim against the US to arbitration, given the number of European-based online gambling companies affected by the US clampdown. (Financial Times)

US is still in discussions for compensation with India, Antigua and Barbuda ($3.4bn in trade sanctions against the US), Macau and Costa Rica.

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