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Online Casino News - September, 2008

EU Delegation Visits Washington to Investigate UIGEA



  Seed Newsvine

by Mira Patel, News Staff Writer

September 21, 2008

If certain people in the U.S. government think the rest of the world is going to sit idly by and watch as the UIGEA discriminately places financial hardships on other countries and continues to serve as a blatant violation to the World Trade Organization's General Agreement on Trade and Services, well then, these certain people should think again. Even better, they really need to rethink the UIGEA and the whole idea of trying to ban online gambling.

Aside from Congressman Barney Frank's recent success at getting the markup on a bill that seeks to clarify the UIGEA (not necessarily a positive thing for online gambling regulation per say), there really hasn't been anything done that could potentially overturn the UIGEA and/or replace it with some sound regulatory legislation. That is, of course, unless the European Union delegation's U.S. visit this week will bring on some needed pressure.

Headed by E.U. trade official and head of the Dispute Settlement Office at the European Commission, M. Jean-Francois Brakeland, an EU delegation met with the U.S. Congress and members of the executive branch to investigate allegations that the U.S. is breaching international treaties and World Trade Organization trade laws by implementing the UIGEA.

Thus far, the EU has stated it will be considering all options and courses of action based on its investigation. Besides opening WTO court proceedings and imposing sanctions on the U.S. for violating trade laws, it is likely the EU will consider imposing a block on the enforcement of the legislation itself.

This could very well mean the U.S. will get no help whatsoever in trying to enforce the UIGEA in Europe. In other words, if the U.S. Department of Justice seeks extradition of CEO's or tries to seize funds like it did with online gambling eWallet, Neteller, let's just say they might run into a few roadblocks.



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