|US limits on online gambling may be challenged by the European Union, according one of its top financial regulators.|
The introduction of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) has resulted in several British online gambling firms being forced out of the US market, leaving members of the EU casting a dubious eye over the American government’s motives for introducing the Act.
'In my view it is probably a restrictive practice and we might take it up in another fora,' EU Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy told the European Parliament.
McCreevy went on to suggest that the US was safeguarding its own gambling industry by preventing foreign companies from entering the online betting sector. 'It's not my intention to bring forward a harmonised piece of legislation on gambling in the European Union,' McCreevy added.
The EU trade commissioner later told reporters that the US rules were a 'prima facie' case of protectionism and that the World Trade Organisation was a possible forum for tackling them.
McCreevy has previously launched legal actions against several EU countries in an attempt to deal with obstacles to foreign competition.