|The Remote Gambling Association (RGA), which represents some of the largest European online gambling companies, has filed a formal complaint against the United States for claims of discrimination and violations of international trade law.|
The RGA is asserting that the US Department of Justice is in violation of international trade laws by pressing criminal prosecutions, forfeitures and other enforcement actions against foreign online gaming operators while allowing domestic online gaming operators, primarily horse betting, to continue.
'We applaud the efforts of the RGA and agree that Congress should take action to end the current discrimination against foreign online gambling operators,' said Jeffrey Sandman, Spokesperson for the Safe And Secure Internet Gambling Initiative.
The action was filed under a provision of the European Union's Trade Barriers Regulation and comes in the context of a contentious trade dispute over online gaming resulting from Antigua's World Trade Organization (WTO) victory over the US earlier this year. After the WTO ruled that the US had violated trade rules in barring Antiguan online gaming operators from the American market, The White House withdrew its WTO obligations with regard to free trade in the gambling area.
A provision of the Trade Barriers Regulation allows any European Union company or association to protest against obstacles to trade in other countries, which the European Union must then investigate. After the investigation, the European Union could pursue discussions with the US to find an appropriate solution to end the discrimination or bring a case against the US to the WTO.