Online Gambling Ban to Cost $100 Billion says EU

The European Union (EU) said Wednesday that trade concessions from the U.S. to compensate for the illegal banning of foreign gambling companies will be upwards of $100 billion, according to EU online gambling sites.

When Washington law makers stopped US banks and credit card companies from processing payments in October of last year via the UIGEA, U.K. gambling operators were unexpectedly forced to withdraw from the profitable U.S. market.

According to a World Trade Organization ruling made in December that ban broke global trade rules and opened up the opportunity for the E.U. to seek concessions. Now in early negotiations, the E.U. and the U.S. are still working on how much that may cost.

Craig Pouncey, a Brussels-based trade lawyer for Herbert Smith LLP law firm said, “One major question is how strong the E.U. will be in pushing the U.S. for all of the concessions available to it.”

About half of the worlds online gamblers are based in the U.S. and lawyers representing the European gambling industry said their companies have lost billions in revenues and market value will U.S. companies like the Sands and Yahoo are still free to offer internet games to Europeans.

The U.S. after the ruling came down, announced a legal maneuver to change the commitments it made as part of the international treaty in 1994 that regulates the trade in services between the 150 member WTO. The U.S. did not challenge the ruling claiming the maneuver ended the case.

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