Euro Trade Rep Tells Washsington that UIGEA Should be Repealed

by Lou on November 15, 2007

Reuters news agency reported that the European Union (EU) Trade Commissioner, Peter Mandelson, told Washington that the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) is unfair to foreign firms and should be repealed.
Mandelson came to the US to negotiate compensation for the 27-nation EU following the unilateral withdrawal of the US from World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations after UIGEA was declared discriminatory.

“It’s not in the interest of American consumers to have good responsible competitors in this market excluded by regulatory mechanisms,” said Mandelson. “What we need to see is a change in US legislation that removes that discrimination against EU operators.”

European gambling firms asked the EU to pursue claims of up to $100 billion in compensatory sanctions and Mandelson has indicated that he supports these claims.

“When a member of the WTO defaults on its commitments, compensation is due,’ continued Mandelson. ‘That’s the case of online gambling.”
Mandelson also met with Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) and to discuss the legislator’s proposed Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act (IGREA) that would regulate online gambling and bring the US into compliance with WTO rules.
“I think Frank takes a fair-minded, common sense approach to this and we look forward to that being effective legislation,” said Mandelson.

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